Awareness, acceptability, and intention to initiate HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among pregnant women

Rachel K. Scott, Shawnika J. Hull, Robin C. Richards, Kristen Klemmer, Frida Salmoran, Jim C. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV prevention is critically important during pregnancy, however, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is underutilized. We conducted a survey of pregnant and non-pregnant women in a high HIV prevalence community in Washington D.C. to evaluate determinants of PrEP initiation during pregnancy. 201 pregnant women and a reference population of 1103 non-pregnant women completed the survey. Among pregnant women, mean age was 26.9 years; the majority were Black with household-incomes below the federal poverty level. Despite low perceived risk of HIV acquisition and low prior awareness of PrEP, 10.5% of respondents planned to initiate PrEP during pregnancy. Pregnant women identified safety, efficacy, and social network and medical provider support as key factors in PrEP uptake intention. The belief that PrEP will “protect (their) baby from HIV” was associated with PrEP uptake intention during pregnancy. Concerns regarding maternal/fetal side effects, and safety in pregnancy or while breastfeeding were not identified as deterrents to uptake intention. When compared to a nonpregnant sample, there were no significant differences in uptake intention between the two samples. These findings support the need for prenatal educational interventions to promote HIV prevention during pregnancy, as well as interventions that center on the role of providers in the provision of PrEP.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Behavioral intention
  • HIV prevention
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Integrated Model of Behavior Prediction
  • high prevalence
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • pregnancy
  • psychosocial determinants
  • reasoned action approach
  • women


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