Barriers to uptake of PrEP across the continuum among transgender women: A global scoping review


BACKGROUND: Although preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has demonstrated high efficacy for HIV prevention, rates of PrEP uptake remain low among the transgender population, especially in transgender women (TGW). We conducted this scoping review to assess and characterize barriers to PrEP use along the PrEP care continuum among TGW. METHODS: We conducted this scoping review by searching studies in Embase, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Eligibility criteria included: reporting a PrEP related quantitative result among TGW; peer-reviewed and published in English between 2010–2021. RESULTS: Globally, high willingness (80%) to use PrEP was found, yet uptake and adherence (35.4%) were low. TGW experiencing hardship, including poverty, incarceration, and substance use, were associated with higher odds of PrEP awareness but lower odds of PrEP use. Structural and social barriers such as stigma, medical mistrust, and perceived racism can be important barriers for PrEP continuation. High social cohesion and hormone replacement therapy were associated with greater odds of awareness. In addition, our study confirmed prior research showing that PrEP does not lower feminizing hormone levels in TGW. CONCLUSIONS: Significant demographic factors among TGW that are associated with PrEP engagement. It is imperative to focus on TGW as a population with independent needs, requiring specific PrEP care guidelines and tailored resource allocation, that fully considers individual-, provider-, and community/structural-level barriers and facilitators. The present review also indicates that combining PrEP care with GAHT or broader gender-affirmation care may facilitate PrEP use.


Teng F, Sha Y, Fletcher LM, Welsch M, Burns P, Tang W




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Income
    • Health services
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • Transgender communities
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions


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