Halton, Barley R.; Roberts, Jill N. T.; Denton, G. Dodd
Background: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada) is highly effective at preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission in high-risk populations, including in men who have sex with men (MSM). In 2019, the US Preventive Services Task Force released an A recommendation to offer PrEP to persons at high risk of HIV acquisition. Despite the demonstrated efficacy of PrEP, areas with high HIV incidence, such as Louisiana, have historically had low PrEP prescription rates. The objective of this study was to determine the factors associated with whether providers in the Ochsner Health System (OHS) discussed PrEP with HIV-negative MSM patients.; Methods: Investigators extracted electronic medical record data on all HIV-negative MSM patients who had at least one outpatient visit at OHS between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2016 and manually reviewed a random sample of 115 charts.; Results: Subjects were predominantly Caucasian (75.7%) with a mean age of 37.6 years. A PrEP discussion was documented for 34 (29.6%) patients. Multivariate modeling showed that having a PrEP discussion was associated with 3 factors: being assigned to a primary care provider known to specialize in MSM care (odds ratio [OR] 5.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.81-14.10; P=0.002), having a documented history (positive or negative) of sexually transmitted infection vs no documentation (OR 5.41, 95% CI 1.80-16.23; P=0.003), and having documentation of condom use (consistent or inconsistent) vs no documentation (OR 3.32, 95% CI 1.27-8.74; P=0.015).; Conclusion: Despite evidence that PrEP significantly reduces sexual transmission of HIV in MSM, PrEP discussions with MSM across OHS were undesirably low. Additional resources need to be aimed at increasing PrEP uptake and should focus on providing skills-based training and education in PrEP and MSM care to healthcare providers. With increased knowledge of and familiarity with PrEP prescribing guidelines, more providers will be better equipped to identify at-risk patients and to discuss prevention options such as PrEP.