The goal of the study was to learn about the experiences of PrEP-related stigma among Black and Latina transgender women (TW) who are using PrEP in Los Angeles County. Our findings revealed that participants experience HIV stigma directly related to their identity as TW, due to the high prevalence in the population. This context helped us to better understand the experiences of stigma related to their PrEP use. The three themes surrounding PrEP stigma included: (1) the perception that PrEP users are HIV-positive and attempting to conceal their status from others; (2) the perception that PrEP users are promiscuous; and (3) being labeled as a “slut” or “whore.” To mitigate some of these negative experiences, participants also received positive social support from friends, family, sex partners, and their peers within the transgender community for taking active steps to stay protected from HIV. In addition, participants used their disclosure of PrEP as an opportunity to educate other TW and their sex partners about PrEP. One way to increase PrEP uptake with this highly vulnerable population is by using a peer education approach with Black and Latina TW who are using PrEP to promote a positive social view of the medication and to challenge the existing stigmas related to the medication.

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CBAM is a multidisciplinary center that seeks to advance the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, especially in communities with health disparities. As part of the UCLA Department of Family Medicine, CBAM works at the intersection of academia and community with a focus on treating addictions and preventing the spread of HIV.

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