MALE PATIENT EXPERIENCE RECEIVING PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS FOR THE PREVENTION OF HIV THROUGH PRIMARY CARE
pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
Community Health and Preventive Medicine
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Abstract Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of men who seek pre-exposure prophylaxis prevention intervention through their primary care physician, in order to assess access, engagement, effectiveness, and overall satisfaction. Methods: Data was collected through semi-structured, qualitative, electronic, telephone, and face-to-face interviews. Participants were adult males (n =20) (18 years of age or older), currently residing in the continental United States, and who are currently receiving pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through their primary care physician (PCP). Results: The experiences of the subjects in this study indicated variable confidence in primary care providers in both knowledge of and access to PrEP. About half of participants described their access to PrEP solely based on their initiation, sometimes resulting in a delay in and reduced confidence of the intervention prescriber. Participants also described additional barriers to PrEP, including PCP resistance to prescribing, costly co-pays, and variable insurance coverage. Once consistent access was afforded, participants described mostly overwhelming positive experiences in both care and effectiveness of the intervention. Conclusions: This study of twenty subjects found that while male primary care patients want to have open conversation about their sexual health and access to new and innovative HIV prevention methods, most patients find that they must initiate this conversation with their PCP. Leaving knowledge of and access to prevention interventions up to the patient caused delays or restrictions to PrEP intervention and posed risk to public health HIV elimination efforts.
Dr. Lina Hartocollis