Sexual Identity Development and Social Ecological Facilitators and Barriers of PrEP Uptake and Adherence Among Latinx Men Who Have Sex with Men

Frank R. Dillon, Melissa M. Ertl, Austin C. Eklund, Jaelen Westbrook, Gabrielle Balek, Angel Algarin, Jessica Martin, Francisco J. Sánchez, Ryan Ebersole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Latinx gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (LMSM) report lower pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use than their white, non-Latinx counterparts. We hypothesize that this disparity is partially attributable to social ecological factors that can be addressed via prevention interventions. In this retrospective study, we first examined data from 253 LMSM to determine whether theorized associations existed between acquisition of a PrEP prescription (uptake) in relation to several social ecological factors based on a conceptual framework of determinants of access to and uptake of PrEP for LMSM. We also explored relations between frequency of PrEP use (adherence) and social ecological factors with a subsample of 33 LMSM who had initiated PrEP 12 months prior to assessment. In this study, individual-level factors from this framework included age and socioeconomic status. Perceived access to medical care represented both individual- and community-level determinants of PrEP uptake and adherence. Interpersonal-level factors were social support and relationship status. Structural/cultural-level factors were sexual identity development status, the masculinity norm of heterosexual self-presentation, traditional Latinx masculine gender role beliefs of machismo and caballerismo, racial identity, and immigration status. Results indicated that older men and those who endorsed the synthesis/integration status of sexual identity development were more likely to acquire a PrEP prescription during their lifetime in comparison to peers. PrEP adherence was linked with being older, reporting higher socioeconomic status, reporting more appraisal social support, self-identifying as white-Latinx, being U.S.-born, and endorsing less sexual identity uncertainty and more heterosexual self-presentation. Results specify modifiable factors that may inform tailored, community-based prevention efforts to increase PrEP use and decrease existing HIV/AIDS disparities among LMSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1211
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of sexual behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2024.


  • Latino
  • Latinx
  • MSM
  • PrEP
  • Sexual identity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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