Public Awareness of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in Durham, North Carolina: Results of a Community Survey

N C Med J. Jan-Feb 2019;80(1):7-11. doi: 10.18043/ncm.80.1.7.


BACKGROUND Adoption of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) remains limited among populations at greatest risk for HIV acquisition. This study aims to assess awareness of PrEP among individuals in Durham, North Carolina, which has one of the highest rates of HIV diagnoses in the state.METHOD In 2015-2016, we administered a survey including questions to assess PrEP awareness to individuals at multiple venues throughout Durham, North Carolina.RESULTS A total of 139 respondents were surveyed. The majority were male (66%) and black/African American (75%); 21% were Hispanic/Latino. There were an estimated 53 men who have sex with men (MSM), of which 18 (33%) were black MSM M 24 years of age. Overall, only 53/138 (38%) respondents were aware of PrEP. Awareness was reported among 33/52 (63%) MSM respondents, 29/46 (63%) black MSM, and 10/17 (59%) black MSM M 24 years of age. In multivariate analysis, non-heterosexual orientation, health-insured status, and prior HIV testing were significantly associated with PrEP awareness. Ninety-four (69%) of 137 respondents reported prior HIV testing.LIMITATIONS Limitations include non-random sampling and limited sample size. Further research needs to be done in other areas of North Carolina, and assessment of PrEP acceptability and uptake needs to be performed.CONCLUSION This study reveals low overall awareness of PrEP in Durham, North Carolina, indicating that expanded outreach is necessary to increase public awareness and encourage adoption of PrEP among all demographics at risk for HIV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice* / ethnology
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • North Carolina
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires