Using Participatory Methods to Assess PrEP Interest and Uptake Among Young People Living in the Southeastern US: A Mixed Methods Assessment

Adolescents and young adults (AYA; 13–24 years-old) comprise 22% of new HIV infections in the United States (US), most of whom live in the South. We used the situated-Information, Motivation, Behavioral skills (sIMB) model to identify priorities for intervention on multi-level factors that influence HIV preventive care among Black AYA in Durham, North Carolina. We conducted two participatory workshops (ages 13–17, N = 6; ages 18–24, N = 7) to engage youth about how to discuss HIV. We also assessed sIMB constructs from a separate quantitative sample of youth to contextualize the workshop findings (N = 80). HIV knowledge was low overall, but lower among younger Black AYA, suggesting a need for comprehensive sexual education. Trusted adults provided sexual health information, motivation for health maintenance, and behavioral skills support. HIV prevention interventions should provide comprehensive sexual health education to Black AYA, be age-specific, and include social supporters like parents, teachers, and community members.