Have you bought PrEP online or tried to? Take part in a study that tells us about your experience!

Have you bought PrEP online or tried to?
Take part in a study that tells us about your experience!

See details of the study, and how to participate in one of the focus groups below.


Why are we doing this study?

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an intervention that involves an HIV negative person using HIV anti-retroviral medication to prevent HIV infection. Although PrEP is currently not available on the NHS in England, increasing numbers of people are sourcing PrEP online or via friends. In this study we are trying to find out what type of support people might need when they are obtaining PrEP online or from other informal sources. The study will inform future interventions that provide support to people using PrEP, and people who might consider doing so in the future.


What will it involve?

The research involves taking part in a focus group. Each group will take place in a central London venue and up to eight other people will attend each group. The group will last up to 90 minutes and an experienced researcher will ask the group to discuss their thoughts and opinions on some key questions related to obtaining and using PrEP. Each participant will be compensated £30 for their time. The group discussion will be audio-recorded. We will have a discussion about rules of confidentiality and sensitivity before starting the focus group. You don’t have to use your real name if you do not wish to do so.


Who should take part in the study?

To take part in the study:

You should live in London

You must be aged 18 or over

AND be a man* who has had sex with another man* in the last 12 months

AND have self-obtained and used PrEP in the last 12 months


You do NOT have to be currently using PrEP to take part (but you MUST have obtained and used PrEP in the last 12 months).

You should NOT take part if you’ve only sourced PrEP from an official clinical trial (such as the PROUD trial or the DISCOVER trial).

* We encourage and welcome the participation of trans* men in this study.


What happens after the focus group?

After the group, the audio-recording of the discussion will be listened to by the two researchers, who will transcribe and make notes on the discussion. Any identifying details (such as names of people or places) will be removed during this transcription. Data will remain anonymous and no one outside from the researchers you will meet in the focus group will know who has said what. Once all groups have been completed, the researchers will look for what is interesting and important and write a report about it. Anonymous data from the interviews in the form of direct quotations might be used at conference presentations, in journal articles, reports, training, and in the development of new PrEP support interventions.


How will you protect my personal information?

We will only keep your first name, contact phone number and email address on file for a short time to organise the focus group. This will be destroyed as soon as the group is complete. Access to this information, the recordings, and transcripts and notes will be strictly controlled and password protected with only the researchers working on this project handling the data. We will use a password protected audio-recorder, computer and phones. In the report we write, and in any other outputs mentioned above, we will include nothing that could identify you and there will be no mention that you took part in the study.


Can I change my mind about taking part?

If you change your mind about taking part before or during the focus group then you are free to leave. Tell the researchers and your contact details will be destroyed. Anything you have said can be removed from the transcription of the audio-recording if you wish.


For more information contact : sara.paparini@graduateinstitute.ch

(By emailing the email address above, you agree to one of the research team getting in touch with you to discuss the study)

This research is endorsed and supported by PrEPster.