Using Motivational Interviewing to Increase HIV PrEP Initiation and Adherence: a Scoping Review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Prevention science : the official journal of the Society for Prevention Research




Brief intervention; Men who have sex with men; Prevention; Sexual health; Women


Despite evidence that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) reduces HIV risk, initiation and adherence remain low among vulnerable communities. Motivational interviewing (MI) can improve HIV prevention behaviors. However, limited research identifies how MI impacts PrEP uptake and adherence. This scoping review examines essential components of MI-based interventions that aimed to improve PrEP use, including the number and duration of sessions, counselor characteristics, and interview content. We searched four databases, PubMed, CINAHL Plus, Embase, and Web of Science, and reviewed 379 articles. Studies were considered if they (a) were published between 2012 and 2023, (b) used MI independently or part of a multi-component intervention strategy, and (c) focused on improving PrEP initiation or adherence. Seven articles met inclusion criteria. Regarding intervention components, the number of MI sessions varied and duration ranged between 15 and 60 min. MI counselors varied in credentialing and demographic characteristics. MI content included PrEP education, identifying initiation and adherence barriers, and strategizing ways to overcome barriers. MI is an important component of interventions that aim to improve PrEP initiation and adherence. However, the variability and limited details across studies hinder our ability to assess MI efficacy on PrEP initiation and adherence or replicate these approaches in future interventions.


Prevention and Community Health