Galka, J., Wang, M., Azwa, I., Gibson, B., Lim, H., Shrestha, R., & Wickersham, J.
Transgender Health, December 2020. Abstract
Introduction: Transgender women (TW) face one of the highest HIV burdens worldwide. In Malaysia, 12.4% of TW are HIV infected, ∼30-fold higher than in the Malaysian adult population. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective HIV prevention strategy, however, little is known about TW’s willingness to use PrEP or their preferences for receiving PrEP. This study examined the correlates of Malaysian TW’s willingness to use PrEP and their attitudes and preferences related to delivery of PrEP and PrEP-related care.
Methods: Between June and August 2017, 361 TW in Malaysia completed an online survey about their knowledge of and willingness to use PrEP for HIV prevention.
Results: Only 20.2% of participants had ever previously heard of PrEP and none were currently taking PrEP. The majority (82.5%) expressed high willingness to take PrEP and most participants met the World Health Organization (WHO) indication for PrEP (82.3%). In the multivariate model, lifetime hormone use, prior postexposure prophylaxis use, and having completed a high school education were associated with higher willingness to use PrEP, while injection drug use, older age, and Chinese ethnicity were associated with lower PrEP willingness.
Conclusion: TW in Malaysia are highly willing to use PrEP for HIV prevention. Differences in willingness to use PrEP identified by education, ethnicity, substance abuse, and age suggest different strategies may be needed to scale-up PrEP for this diverse community of TW.