Access to technology, particularly cellphones, is tied to a higher awareness of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in women, according to survey results presented at the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 2023 Annual Meeting.
Those with limited access to technology, older women, and women who had been incarcerated were also less likely to be aware of their medication options.
Researchers collected responses from 206 women in New York City and Philadelphia by computer survey. The women were HIV negative and eligible to receive medication but were not currently taking any.
Most participants were Black (61%) or Hispanic (24%), and the average age of participants was 39 years. Nearly 60% of the group reported they were not aware of PrEP.
Younger women, Hispanic women, women who had not been incarcerated, and women with access to technology were most likely to be aware that they could take medication to prevent HIV.
“Women who utilized their cell phones for activities such as texting, emailing, watching videos, playing games, downloading apps, and accessing social media were more likely to be aware of PrEP,” point out the researchers led by Su Kyung Kim, PhD, WHNP-BC, an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
These findings could help direct efforts to increase awareness among women where uptake has remained low, the researchers report. “Mobile technologies, in particular, offer a nimble, customizable and accessible way to reach this target population and increase awareness of PrEP.”
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