Objective: In the context of continued high rates of condomless anal intercourse and HIV-1 infection, young men who have sex with men (YMSM) need additional effective and desirable HIV prevention tools. This study reports on the willingness of a racially-ethnically diverse cohort of YMSM to use a new biomedical prevention approach, a long-acting injectable pre-exposure prophylaxis (LAI-PrEP) agent. Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted between June-August 2013 recruited participants from an ongoing cohort study of YMSM in NYC. Participants included 197 YMSM, of whom 72.6% (n = 143) identified as men of color. Two outcomes were measured through computer-assisted self-interviews: 1) willingness to use long-acting injectable PrEP and 2) preference for route of administration of PrEP. In addition, concerns about perceived impacts of PrEP on health and risk behavior, access to health services, and stigma were investigated. Results: Over 80% (n = 159/197, p<0.001) of participants stated they would be willing to use LAI-PrEP. With regards to preference for mode of delivery 79.2% (n = 156/197, p<0.001) stated they would prefer an injection administered every three months over a daily pill or neither one. Conclusions: This study is the first to explore acceptability of LAI-PrEP in the US. A significant majority of participants expressed willingness to use LAI and the majority preferred LAI-PrEP. LAI-PrEP holds great promise in that it could circumvent the adherence challenges associated with daily dosing, especially if nested within appropriate psycho-behavioral support. Medical providers whose patients include YMSM at high risk for HIV infection should note the positive attitudes toward PrEP, and specifically LAI-PrEP.
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