Chemnasiri T, Varangrat A, Amico KR, Chitwarakorn A, Dye BJ, Grant RM, Holtz TH, HPTN 067/ADAPT Study Team. Facilitators and barriers affecting PrEP adherence among Thai men who have sex with men (MSM) in the HPTN 067/ADAPT Study. AIDS Care. 2019, 1-6.
The HPTN 067/ADAPT Study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, patterns of adherence and coverage for three randomly assigned oral FTC/TDF pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) dosing regimens to prevent HIV infection. Using qualitative methods, we explored facilitators and barriers among a subset of men who have sex with men (MSM) participants in Bangkok, Thailand. Between August 2013 and March 2014, 32 HPTN 067/ADAPT participants joined in 6 focus group discussions, and 6 attended key informant interviews. Facilitators of PrEP adherence included use of strategies to have PrEP available when needed, simplicity in regimen requirements with recognition that more complex regimens may take some time to master, ability to plan for sex, receipt of social and technology support, ability to use a PrEP regimen that best matches to one's own patterns of sex, and experiences with PrEP as a part of health and well-being. Challenges to PrEP adherence included perceptions of no or low HIV risk, difficulties following regimens when intoxicated, concerns about side effects, experience of HIV stigma, and affordability of PrEP outside of study context influencing uptake and use in the community. Preferences for regimens varied, suggesting that multiple PrEP effective regimen options should be available to fit those with different needs.