Geographic and Individual Associations with PrEP Stigma: Results from the RADAR Cohort of Diverse Young Men Who have Sex with Men and Transgender Women

Brian Mustanski*, Daniel T. Ryan, Christina Hayford, Gregory Phillips, Michael E. Newcomb, Justin D. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Increasing the uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV acquisition among at-risk populations, such as young men who have sex with men (YMSM), is of vital importance to slowing the HIV epidemic. Stigma and negative injunctive norms, such as the so called “Truvada Whore” phenomenon, hamper this effort. We examined the prevalence and types of PrEP stigma and injunctive norm beliefs among YMSM and transgender women and associated individual and geospatial factors. A newly created measure of PrEP Stigma and Positive Attitudes was administered to 620 participants in an ongoing longitudinal cohort study. Results indicated lower stigma among White, compared to Black and Latino participants, and among participants not identifying as male. Prior knowledge about PrEP was associated with lower stigma and higher positive attitudes. PrEP stigma had significant geospatial clustering and hotspots were identified in neighborhoods with high HIV incidence and concentration of racial minorities, whereas coldspots were identified in areas with high HIV incidence and low LGBT stigma. These results provide important information about PrEP attitudes and how PrEP stigma differs between individuals and across communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3044-3056
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018



  • Geospatial
  • HIV
  • Homosexuality, male
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this