1. Champion, Jane Dimmitt PhD, DNP, FNP, AH-PMH-CNS, FAAN, FAANP
  2. Recto, Pam PhD, RN


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess HIV risk, perceptions of risk, and potential adherence to preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the prevention of HIV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID), who self-report HIV negative status and access mobile outreach intravenous drug use (IVDU) services.


Methods/Sample: Participants (N = 93) were non-Hispanic White (59.1%) and Hispanic (36.6%), between the ages of 18 and 63 years, primarily male (58.1%), who reported a length of IVDU between 1 and >20 years and accessed mobile outreach IVDU services in a metropolitan area of the Southwestern United States; all self-reported HIV-negative status. Self-report questionnaires completed via iPad included HIV risk behavior, perceived risk of HIV, and beliefs about medicines.


Results: PWID perceived themselves at a low risk for HIV with minimal concerns about contracting HIV. High levels of comorbidities (schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, hepatitis, diabetes, and hypertension), substance use, and limited HIV protective behavior and social support existed; women reported significantly more risk behaviors and comorbidities. Positive attitudes toward and interest in use of medication for HIV prevention were present, however, with concurrent concerns regarding long-term medication use and the potential to forget medications.


Conclusions: PrEP adherence for PWID presents challenges for clinicians. Addressing perceptions of PrEP, perceived and actual risk for contracting HIV, potential barriers to PrEP adherence, social support, and treatment of comorbidities in primary care and IVDU outreach services potentially enhances PrEP maintenance among PWID, notably women.