Introducing PrEP Facts: Women’s Sexuality and HIV Prevention

June 3, 2016

Faith Landsman works for the CFAR Research Facilitation Core at the UCLA HIV Research Study Volunteer Project.

If women in the US want to start PrEP right now, most often they have to ask for it directly. The question is, how do women get PrEP if we don’t know that a pill to help prevent HIV even exists? While Planned Parenthood is rolling out PrEP services throughout the US, healthcare providers rarely offer PrEP to women, and even then often only if women disclose that their partner is HIV-positive. In a study published in the journal Contraception, (2016 May;93(5):463-9) researchers found that among family planning providers surveyed, most have limited knowledge about HIV PrEP and HIV testing, and report lack of provider training as the main barrier to PrEP provision.

In the Facebook group “PrEP Facts: Rethinking HIV Prevention”, founded by Damon Jacobs in 2013, its over 14,000 members have been promoting PrEP education and advocacy worldwide. Members advocate for one another with under-informed physicians, insurance companies, health departments and in interpersonal relationships. However, the membership is overwhelmingly men who have sex with men. “PrEP Facts: Women’s Sexuality and HIV Prevention”, a spin-off of the original PrEP Facts group, intends to do the same for women looking to take control of their sexuality and health. We want to empower women to be able to say, “I’m taking control over my risk for HIV infection.”

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