American Healthcare Providers May Hesitate to Prescribe PrEP

Group Health Research Institute reported that a recent study shows that American healthcare providers may be reluctant to prescribe pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to patients at “substantial ongoing risk for HIV.”

As quoted in the market news:

The quarterly HIV Specialist magazine of the American Academy of HIV Medicine published these survey results: ‘Providers’ Perspectives on Prescribing Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention.’

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) involves proactively prescribing a regimen of an HIV antiviral medication to people who do not have HIV. The medication helps prevent HIV from establishing itself and multiplying in the body.

The survey was the first to be conducted since the U.S. Public Health Service released detailed PrEP guidelines in May 2014. In the Web-based, 53-question survey of 324 American Academy of HIV Medicine members—most of whom are HIV-specializing practitioners—fewer than half reported being ‘very likely’ to prescribe PrEP to their patients who are high-risk heterosexuals or people who use intravenous drugs.

First author Leah M. Adams, PhD, a research fellow at Group Health Research Institute, commented:

That’s concerning, because these groups are among the prime candidates for PrEP according to the guidelines.

Benjamin Balderson, PhD, a Group Health psychologist and Group Health Research Institute research associate, commented:

HIV-negative men in ‘serodiscordant’ couples were the most likely group to be prescribed PrEP in our sample. But that still leaves 21 percent of respondents who were not very likely to prescribe PrEP even to people in this group. Academy members are likely very aware of the indications for thinking about PrEP in this population, but something is still making them reluctant to prescribe.

Click here to read the full Group Health Research Institute press release.

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