Influences affecting decision-making regarding use of pre-exposure prophylaxis among black men who have sex with men in the USA: A systematic review and meta-synthesis


AIM: To systematically identify, evaluate, and synthesise qualitative research examining positive and negative influences affecting decision-making behaviour among black men who have sex with men (BMSM) in the USA regarding use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). BACKGROUND: Used correctly, PrEP is highly efficacious in preventing HIV infection and is available via healthcare services throughout the USA. BMSM are a key target population for HIV prevention services, however their engagement with these services is low. With potential barriers to access ranging from systemic to personal, a phenomenological perspective on the influences affecting individuals’ decision-making is essential, helping to better understand the needs of this target population and guide development and delivery of more effective future policy and intervention services. DESIGN: Qualitative meta-synthesis with meta-aggregation. DATA SOURCES: The electronic databases Medline, CINAHL, APA PsycInfo, Embase and Ovid Emcare were comprehensively searched from inception to 21 January 2022. REVIEW METHODS: Systematic identification, quality assessment and synthesis of existing qualitative research according to protocols of meta-aggregation. This included identifying salient study findings and corroborating illustrations from the data, sorting like findings into descriptive themed categories and developing transformative synthesised statements from aggregate appraisal of category findings. RESULTS: Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria and were assessed to be of acceptable quality. Synthesis of study data yielded 30 categories grouped under five themes: Stigma, Discrimination, Mistrust, PrEP positivity and PrEP negativity. Twelve synthesised statements were produced to provide a summary of the results and suggest improvements to the delivery of future PrEP services and interventions. CONCLUSION: A more targeted approach focused on advocacy and ambassadorship outside of clinical settings may be more influential in positive decision-making regarding use of PrEP in BMSM populations than relying on traditional outreach methods via institutions and their representatives where stigma, mistrust and structural inequalities perpetuate.


Hutchins F, Drey N




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Ethnoracial communities
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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