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Garner W, Wilson BM, Beste L, Maier M, Ohl ME, Van Epps P. Gaps in Preexposure Prophylaxis Uptake for HIV Prevention in the Veterans Health Administration. American journal of public health. 2018 Nov 1; 108(S4):S305-S310.
To report demographics, regional variations, and indications for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use for HIV prevention in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
We identified persons initiating tenofovir/emtricitabine for the PrEP indication in the United States between July 2012 and April 2016 in a VHA national database. We stratified PrEP use by provider type and VHA region. We calculated PrEP initiation rate for each region with VHA population data.
Of the 825 persons who initiated PrEP during the observation period, 67% were White and 76% were men who have sex with men. People who inject drugs and transgender persons represented less than 1% each of the cohort. The majority of PrEP initiations were clustered in 3 states, leading with California (28%) followed by Florida (9%) and Texas (8%). The Southeast had one of the lowest PrEP rates at 10 PrEP initiations per 100 000 persons in care. Infectious disease specialists issued more than two thirds of index PrEP prescriptions.
Uptake of PrEP in the VHA is uneven along geographic and risk categories. Understanding the reasons behind these gaps will be key in expanding the use of this important prevention tool.