Background Long-acting injectable HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (LAI-PrEP) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2021. This initial phase of implementation represents a prime opportunity to ensure equitable LAI-PrEP provision to communities often underrepresented in PrEP care before disparities in access and uptake emerge. Herein, we describe the EquiPrEP Project which utilizes an equity-oriented implementation science framework to optimize LAI-PrEP rollout in an urban safety-net clinic in New York City. Methods The primary objectives of this project are to: (1) increase LAI-PrEP initiation overall; (2) increase uptake among groups disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic; (3) preserve high PrEP retention while expanding use; and (4) identify barriers and facilitators to LAI-PrEP use. EquiPrEP will enroll 210 PrEP-eligible participants into LAI-PrEP care with planned follow-up for one year. We will recruit from the following priority populations: Black and/or Latine men who have sex with men, Black and/or Latine cisgender women, and transgender women and nonbinary individuals. To evaluate implementation of LAI-PrEP, we will utilize equity-focused iterations of the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), in addition to longitudinal surveys and qualitative interviews. Discussion Novel LAI-PrEP formulations carry tremendous potential to revolutionize the field of HIV prevention. Implementation strategies rooted in equity are needed to ensure that marginalized populations have access to LAI-PrEP and to address the structural factors that hinder initiation and retention in care.
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