Contraception as a Potential Gateway to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis: US Women's Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Modality Preferences Align with Their Birth Control Practices

Sarah K. Calabrese, Rachel W. Galvao, John F. Dovidio, Tiara C. Willie, Cara B. Safon, Clair Kaplan, Abigail Caldwell, Oni Blackstock, Nicole J. Phillips, Trace S. Kershaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Addressing women's low uptake of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) requires improved understanding of their product preferences. Such preferences should be contextualized according to other aspects of their reproductive health, including their contraception practices. We investigated women's preferences across 10 PrEP modalities currently available or under study and examined associations between PrEP modality preferences and contraception practices. Heterosexually active women recently engaged in care at Connecticut Planned Parenthood centers (n = 563) completed an online survey. Participants were presented with images and descriptions of 10 PrEP modalities and asked to indicate their preference and specify their reasoning in an open-response format. Participants also reported prior and current use of 16 contraception modalities along with relationship, sexual health, and sociodemographic characteristics. The sample included women ages 18-45 (45.3% 25 or younger) who were predominantly non-Hispanic black (35.7%) or white (33.7%). All PrEP modalities presented were preferred by at least some women, with daily pills (24.9%), injections (24.3%), and invisible implants (14.9%) preferred most commonly. Across all modalities, associated reasoning often centered around ease of use and comfort. Coincidence with contraception modality was the third-most common reason underlying women's preferences. Women currently using the analogous contraception modality versus never having used it had higher odds of preferring PrEP daily pills [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.03], injections (AOR = 8.45), invisible implants (AOR = 11.63), and vaginal rings (AOR = 8.66). Diversification of available PrEP modalities and prioritization of those coinciding with popular contraception practices-especially daily pills, injections, and implants-could optimize PrEP acceptability, encourage PrEP uptake, and ultimately reduce HIV incidence among women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-146
Number of pages15
JournalAIDS patient care and STDs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • contraception
  • patient care
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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