Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV infection: results of a survey of HIV healthcare providers evaluating their knowledge, attitudes, and prescribing practices

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2013 Oct;27(10):553-9. doi: 10.1089/apc.2013.0173. Epub 2013 Sep 20.


Antiretroviral medications can be taken by HIV-negative persons to prevent HIV infection, also known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP was first shown to be effective during the iPrEX study. We conducted a survey involving HIV healthcare providers to document their attitudes and prescribing practices about PrEP in response to this study. An online survey was completed by 189 members and credentialees of the American Academy of HIV Medicine between April 2011 and September 2011. Ninety percent of respondents were familiar with the results of the iPrEx study, and most (78%) were familiar with CDC's interim guidance regarding the use of PrEP in MSM. Only 19% of respondents had prescribed PrEP. The majority of PrEP prescribers were compliant with CDC interim guidance; however, only 61% screened for hepatitis B. Of PrEP prescribers, 78% prescribed to MSM, 31% to MSW, and 28% to WSM. Greatest concerns about prescribing PrEP included development of antiretroviral resistance (32%), potential increase in high-risk behavior, (22%) and poor medication adherence (21%). Fifty-eight percent stated that HIV serodiscordance within a relationship most influenced their decision to prescribe PrEP to the HIV-seronegative partner. This study demonstrates that, despite awareness of the efficacy of PrEP, its use is limited. Survey participants used PrEP most commonly in MSM; however, a significant percentage also prescribed PrEP to women. The best candidate for PrEP is felt to be individuals in an HIV-serodiscordant relationship. Limitations to our study included a low response rate, changes in the evidence base, and the novelty of PrEP.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anti-HIV Agents