Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) provides a salient avenue to address the profound HIV-related health disparities that Black women in the United States face. This systematic review assessed the acceptability of PrEP within this population, and identified barriers and facilitators to its acceptability and uptake.
We searched PubMed and Web of Science using 48 search input combinations; this produced 338 unique articles, 16 of which were included in the review.
We analyzed the results using the socio-ecological model (SEM). Findings indicate generally positive attitudes towards PrEP among Black women, although acceptance levels vary widely. Individual-level barriers included inadequate levels of PrEP awareness and knowledge, low HIV-risk perception, and concerns about adherence and side effects; interpersonal-level barriers were the influence of sexual and romantic partners and stigma from family; societal-level barriers included lack of PrEP marketing towards Black women, medical mistrust, cost, and structural violence. The main facilitators at the individual-level were PrEP education and information; at the interpersonal-level, distrust in sexual partners, healthcare provider encouragement, and social support; at the societal-level, PrEP accessibility, and affordability. No community-level barriers or facilitators were identified.
PrEP should be marketed directly to Black women in the US and campaigns should highlight this medication’s effectiveness, accessibility, affordability, and safety. Medical mistrust must also be addressed to enable Black women to feel comfortable following their healthcare providers’ advice regarding PrEP.