UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Acceptability of a hypothetical preventative HIV vaccine among people who use drugs in Vancouver, Canada Fleming, Taylor; Valleriani, Jenna; Ng, Cara; Maher, Lisa; Small, Will; McNeil, Ryan


Background: As research on HIV vaccines continues to advance, studies exploring the feasibility of this intervention are necessary to inform uptake and dissemination strategies with key populations, including people who use drugs (PWUD). Methods: We conducted 25 in-depth qualitative interviews examining HIV vaccine acceptability among PWUD in Vancouver, Canada. Participants were recruited from an ongoing prospective cohort of HIV-negative PWUD. Data were coded using NVivo, and analyzed thematically. Results: Acceptability was framed by practical considerations such as cost and side effects, and was influenced by broader trust of government bodies and health care professionals. While an HIV vaccine was perceived as an important prevention tool, willingness to be vaccinated was low. Results suggest that future vaccine implementation must consider how to minimize the burden an HIV vaccine may place on PWUD. Centering the role of health care providers in information dissemination and delivery may assist with uptake. Conclusions: Our findings suggest improvements in care and improved patient-provider relationships would increase the acceptability of a potential HIV vaccine among this population.

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