HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Use and Persistence among Black Ciswomen: “Women Need to Protect Themselves, Period”

Maria Pyra*, Amy K. Johnson, Samantha Devlin, A. Ziggy Uvin, Shemeka Irby, Eric Stewart, Cori Blum, Maya Green, Sadia Haider, Lisa R. Hirschhorn, Jessica P. Ridgway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Disparities in HIV incidence and PrEP use among Black ciswomen remain. We examine factors associated with PrEP persistence using mixed methods. Setting: Black ciswomen in Chicago, IL, prescribed PrEP at a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Methods: We used electronic health data to determine PrEP persistence (Proportion of Days Covered ≥86% at 6 months) and tested demographic and clinical factors in logistic regressions. We interviewed eight Black ciswomen, purposefully selected by PrEP persistence. Results: Among 112 Black ciswomen, 18% were persistent. In adjusted models, neighborhood, visit reason (at initiation), and initiation year were significantly associated with persistence. Qualitatively, we found little evidence of cost or adherence as barriers; participants reported low community awareness, importance of providers, and concerns around stigma, side effects, and pregnancy while using PrEP. Conclusion: While persistence among Black ciswomen was low, patients were often making decisions based on perceived HIV risk. We identified real-world barriers to address in future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Black
  • Ciswomen
  • HIV PrEP
  • Mixed methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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