“PrEPping” women's healthcare providers: motivational interviewing to support ending the HIV epidemic

Theresa L. Rager, Golfo Tzilos Wernette, Jenell S. Coleman, Nicole Schechter, Okeoma Mmeje

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2018, cisgender women accounted for nearly 20% of new HIV infections, with women of color disproportionately affected. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake, adherence, and persistence are paramount to ending the HIV epidemic, but current strategies to promote it have not improved uptake among women. Alternatively, pre-exposure prophylaxis marketing and implementation have traditionally targeted men who have sex with men and transwomen. Women feel most comfortable turning to their primary care and reproductive health providers for HIV and pre-exposure prophylaxis counseling, but prescribing is the lowest among these providers. Thus, reframing pre-exposure prophylaxis counseling and education strategies is crucial to better engage providers and patients. Motivational interviewing is a person-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change. Providers use 4 core skills—open-ended questions, affirmation, reflective listening, and summarizing—to empower individuals for behavior change, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis use. Motivational interviewing is brief, individualized, and effective in increasing pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake, regardless of patients’ readiness to change. Primary care and reproductive health providers can employ motivational interviewing approaches with pre-exposure prophylaxis counseling to increase uptake among cisgender women and end the HIV epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • HIV prevention
  • behavior change
  • cisgender women
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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