Systematic review of the values and preferences regarding the use of injectable pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV acquisition


INTRODUCTION: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an important HIV prevention option. Two randomized trials have provided efficacy evidence for long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA) as PrEP. In considering CAB-LA as an additional PrEP modality for people at substantial risk of HIV, it is important to understand community response to injectable PrEP. We conducted a systematic review of values, preferences and perceptions of acceptability for injectable PrEP to inform global guidance. METHODS: We searched nine databases and conference websites for peer-reviewed and grey literature (January 2010-September 2021). There were no restrictions on location. A two-stage review process assessed references against eligibility criteria. Data from included studies were organized by constructs from the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability. RESULTS: We included 62 unique references. Most studies were observational, cross-sectional and qualitative. Over half of the studies were conducted in North America. Men who have sex with men were the most researched group. Most studies (57/62) examined injectable PrEP, including hypothetical injectables (55/57) or placebo products (2/57). Six studies examined CAB-LA specifically. There was overall interest in and often a preference for injectable PrEP, though there was variation within and across groups and regions. Many stakeholders indicated that injectable PrEP could help address adherence challenges associated with daily or on-demand dosing for oral PrEP and may be a better lifestyle fit for individuals seeking privacy, discretion and infrequent dosing. End-users reported concerns, including fear of needles, injection site pain and body location, logistical challenges and waning or incomplete protection. DISCUSSION: Despite an overall preference for injectable PrEP, heterogeneity across groups and regions highlights the importance of enabling end-users to choose a PrEP modality that supports effective use. Like other products, preference for injectable PrEP may change over time and end-users may switch between prevention options. There will be a greater understanding of enacted preference as more end-users are offered anti-retroviral (ARV)-containing injectables. Future research should focus on equitable implementation, including real-time decision-making and how trained healthcare providers can support choice. CONCLUSIONS: Given overall acceptability, injectable PrEP should be included as part of a menu of prevention options, allowing end-users to select the modality that suits their preferences, needs and lifestyle.


Lorenzetti L, Dinh N, van der Straten A, Fonner V, Ridgeway K, Rodolph M, Schaefer R, Schmidt HA, Baggaley R




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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