Background: In New York City (NYC), men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for more than half of 2,718 newly-identified HIV infections in 2014. Despite the efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, in New York state (where half of people living with HIV are insured through Medicaid) only 1,330 people filled Medicaid prescriptions for PrEP from 7/2014-6/2015. Barriers to uptake include stigma and lack of information. Online video-based interventions have effectively addressed other HIV prevention behaviors among MSM and are a promising avenue for promoting critical thought and follow up.
Methods: We developed an online video campaign (Time2PrEP) to increase information-seeking about PrEP among NYC MSM. The videos were marketed through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Black Gay Chat, and Scruff and highlighted in publications including Towleroad, OUT Magazine, The Advocate, HIV PLUS Magazine, Manhunt Blog, and The Huffington Post. Individuals who watched one or more videos on could complete a questionnaire in SurveyGizmo. We used Stata SE/14.1 and bivariate logistic regression to assess correlates of intention to get more information about PrEP after watching the video(s).
Results: The videos were viewed 52,586 times on YouTube, including 5,804 from from 11/2015-1/2016. The majority of the 156 survey participants identified as white (60%), male (94%), and gay (76%). Many (48%) said they definitely would seek more information about PrEP after watching the videos. Under one quarter (24%) had ever used PrEP, but they were more likely to want more information about PrEP (OR:2.34, 95% CI:1.08-5.06). One third (33%) said they would definitely start or continue using PrEP in the future, and this group had higher odds of planning to seek more information (OR:10.08, 95% CI:3.20-31.72). Those who would like their sexual partner(s) to use PrEP (66%) were also more likely to report information-seeking intentions (OR:6.32, 95% CI:1.30-30.77). African American participants (22%) were more likely to want to get more information about PrEP than participants of other races (OR:2.21, 95% CI:1.02-4.80).
Conclusions: The popularity of the Time2PrEP video series and self-reported intention to seek more information among viewers shows that this type of intervention is a promising tool for HIV prevention.