Implementing a Community-Engaged Equity Approach to Identify Barriers and Facilitators to the PrEP Care Continuum in Long Beach, CA

This study is a pilot project funded by the UCLA – Charles Drew University Center for AIDS Research (UCLA – CDU CFA).


Gay Black man laughing

It is designed to identify individual and structural barriers and facilitators affecting engagement in the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) care continuum among Black and Latinx gender diverse individuals in Long Beach, CA. Long Beach is one of the top three health districts in Los Angeles County with the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses. Black and Latinx gay, bisexual, and other cisgender men and transgender women who have sex with men are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in the U.S. yet have the lowest engagement in the HIV prevention continuum among sexual and gender minority individuals.


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In partnership with the City of Long Beach Comprehensive HIV Planning Group’s (HPG) PrEP and Trans Wellness Workgroups including individuals affected by HIV, the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (LBDHHS) and the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Steering Committee, our study proposes to explore the following three research questions: 1) What are the experiences and perceived barriers resulting in low PrEP engagement along the care continuum for Black and Latinx gender diverse individuals in Long Beach; 2) Among existing and potential PrEP providers, what are the gaps and feasibility of providing culturally tailored PrEP-related services; And, 3) How can the barriers be addressed effectively?


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According to the HPG PrEP Workgroup, identifying opportunities for intervention along the PrEP care continuum from the perspectives of Black and Latinx gender diverse individuals is critical for developing effective PrEP uptake and retention strategies. Dr. Laura D’Anna, CHER Director, and Mr. Everardo Alvizo, HIV/STD Strategic Implementation Specialist for LBDHHS, serve as the Principal Investigators, and Dr. Nina Harawa, UCLA Center for HIV Identification Prevention and Treatment Services Core Director, is a Co-Investigator.


LatinX woman doctor smiling with clipboard

The study aims are: 1) to explore, using qualitative methods, contextually specific barriers to and facilitators of PrEP engagement among Black and Latinx gender diverse individuals and PrEP services among providers; 2) to obtain, using survey methods, locally relevant estimates of the scope and magnitude of PrEP experiences, barriers and facilitators, and services; and 3) to disseminate and implement study results to increase PrEP care continuum engagement in ways that are meaningful for the Long Beach community.