A Scripted, PrEP-Using Peer Change Agent Improves Perceived Risk for HIV and Willingness to Accept Referrals Quickly Among Black Sexual Minority Men: Preliminary Findings from POSSIBLE

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



AIDS and behavior




Adherence; Engagement; Health Communication; Intervention


PrEP use remains suboptimal among Black sexual minority men (SMM) partly due to low perceived risk for HIV (PRH). This study describes baseline results of POSSIBLE, a multicomponent pilot intervention including a peer change agent (PCA) to increase PRH among Black SMM. POSSIBLE was a theoretically guided two-session, single-group feasibility intervention in Baltimore, MD conducted between 2019 and 2021 (N = 69). Baseline study visits involved a 20-minute session with a PrEP-using PCA who used a motivational interview-based script to discuss participants' lifestyles, goals, and values, HIV risk behaviors, and PRH and tailor communication to encourage PrEP use. Bivariate analyses were conducted to assess differences in PRH before and after baseline sessions along with the correlates of PrEP referral willingness. A total of 75% of participants identified as gay; 73% were employed; 84% reported having insurance; 78% were single; 51% reported ever being diagnosed with an STI. Baseline results showed a statistically significant improvement in PRH after the first session (t=-3.09; p < .01). Additionally, 64% were willing to be referred to PrEP care after baseline; 45% of whom made a PrEP appointment. PRH was not associated with referral willingness. However, receptive anal intercourse in the previous 6 months was statistically significantly associated with referral willingness. Findings suggests that a scripted PCA could independently improve PRH among Black SMM quickly. The person-centered nature of the scripted PCA could be key to improving PrEP use among a highly marginalized and elusive community.


Prevention and Community Health