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Using social marketing strategies to develop and pretest PrEP education materials for transgender women

Sarah Bauerle Bass (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Patrick J.A. Kelly (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Jesse Brajuha (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Luis Gutierrez-Mock (Division of Prevention Science, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA)
Paul D'Avanzo (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Samantha Herrera (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Jae Sevelius (Division of Prevention Science, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 21 March 2023

Issue publication date: 29 May 2023

163

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to develop pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) education materials that directly address the needs of trans women. PrEP medication is an effective HIV prevention strategy, but some groups at high risk of HIV, such as transgender (trans) women, have suboptimal uptake and adherence. Most PrEP marketing has been aimed fat men who have sex with men (MSM) and include trans women as part of that audience, but this strategy ignores important differences in perceptions of and barriers to PrEP.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a social marketing approach grounded in exchange theory to systematically develop and pretest PrEP messaging and communication materials for trans women through qualitative (focus groups: n = 5, 34 participants) and quantitative (surveys: n = 128) methods in Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay area. Segmentation analysis, perceptual mapping and vector message modeling techniques were used to create three-dimensional visualizations of PrEP perceptions to identify highly targeted messaging. Working with trans artists, the authors developed prototype materials using the targeted messaging and pretested these (n = 11) in both locations for feedback on content, look and insight on appropriate intervention strategies.

Findings

Using segmentation and perceptual mapping, this study identified key PrEP messaging across different subgroups, including by demographic and psychographic variables. Differences by group were determined to not be significant and overall messages that would resonate with all groups were built into the materials. Pretesting sessions indicated high acceptability of the messaging and trans women-centered approach to increase PrEP uptake.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to use a social marketing framework to create targeted PrEP communication materials for trans women in partnership with trans women.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (1 R21 NG110340-01A1; SB Bass and J Sevelius, MPIs).

Citation

Bass, S.B., Kelly, P.J.A., Brajuha, J., Gutierrez-Mock, L., D'Avanzo, P., Herrera, S. and Sevelius, J. (2023), "Using social marketing strategies to develop and pretest PrEP education materials for transgender women", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 380-398. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-08-2022-0169

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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