Judy Auerbach, Ph.D., of UCSF, and Maura Riordan of AIDS United discuss the findings from “Knowledge, Attitudes, and Likelihood of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Use Among US Women at Risk of Acquiring HIV” at the National Transgender Health Summit, 2015, in Oakland, CA. Maura Riordan on what’s surprising: “I was a little surprised by how, across most of the groups, there was pretty high emotion, feeling like the information [about PrEP] wasn’t accessible in communities and particularly around women. A lot of them looked at this as an option that was really appealing.” Judy Auerbach on next steps: “…to separate out trans women as women as compared to how they’ve been treated in the past in the HIV discourse, which is as men who have sex with men who decided to be female.”
Liz Johnson, Executive Director of Christie’s Place, and Naina Khanna, Executive Director of Positive Women’s Network USA, chat about women’s knowledge and attitudes about PrEP. Naina said that women, when they were told that there was, “a prevention resource that women could use to protect themselves, that doesn’t require your partner’s consent, or even your partner’s knowledge, this is something that a woman can just use to protect herself… they were outraged… that nobody had ever told them about it.” Liz tells us that, “one of the things that came out of these groups was that it [PrEP] should be available to women for little or no cost at all.” She also says that it is, “important to educate mental health clinicians… folks who are working in substance abuse treatment programs, domestic violence shelters, really important to educate them about this because I really think that they’re going to be key facilitators [for women accessing PrEP].” Concerns about side effects and accessibility are also discussed.