March 28, 2019

PCDC in Action: Motivational Interviewing

Funded by the CDC, PCDC’s HIP in Health Care team works throughout the country, helping expand and improve the delivery of HIV prevention services within clinical settings.
Earlier this month, the team traveled to Tallahassee, FL, to train direct service providers of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The ultimate goal: to increase PrEP use and adherence by educating and motivating populations at high risk for contracting HIV.


“Motivational Interviewing and PrEP, Building a Stronger Relationship for Patient Engagement”

Attended by:

Local health department staff, health care providers, and CDC directly funded Community-Based Organization (CBO) staff

Led by:

Sarahjane Rath, MPH, CHES, Trainer & Curriculum Development Specialist, and Brandon A. Harrison, Senior Project Manager

Rath leading an interactive group activity

What it does:

A customized training created by PCDC, the session supports health care providers and staff in increasing patients’ uptake and use of PrEP. It incorporates group work, role play, and partner activities designed to establish intermediate and advanced proficiencies of Motivational Interviewing.

Why it’s important:

PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool that is integral to a goal within reach: ending the HIV epidemic. When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92 percent in people who are at high risk; however, it is much less effective if not taken consistently.

Disparities also persist in PrEP access, uptake, and regular use among those at high risk for contracting HIV. African Americans and Latinos are most at risk, but in 2015 comprised only 1 and 3 percent of PrEP prescriptions, respectively. In addition, Southern states accounted for more than half of new HIV diagnoses in 2017.

Motivational Interviewing is an approach that helps people make and commit to positive behavioral changes. Through its training, PCDC coaches providers on how to create a safe and empathetic environment in which to examine patient barriers to PrEP use and to discuss realistic solutions.

Tallahassee health care providers practicing Motivational Interviewing

What sets PCDC apart:

“Many of PCDC’s staff have frontline experience, as they themselves once worked in clinical settings interacting daily with clients and patients,” Rath said. “They bring years of expertise and personal stories which inform the development of our realistic and tangible trainings.

“PCDC upholds a high standard for our staff and curricula by combining experience, research, and state-of-the-science data. We offer both in-person and remote trainings that are tailored to a center’s particular needs and are infused with didactic information and experiential exercises.”

PCDC trainers Rath and Harrison [upper right] with the Tallahassee team

What attendees are saying:

“Thank you to PCDC for providing an excellent training to our area’s health care staff who are involved with PrEP navigation. Motivational Interviewing techniques will help them better assist high-risk, HIV-negative people in deciding to begin and continue using PrEP. I hope to utilize PCDC-provided trainings in the future.”

James Easton, HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator of Area 2B, Florida Department of Health in Leon County