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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
December 11, 2018

PrEP Disparities

JAMA. 2018;320(22):2304. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.18947

Just 4.7% of US prescriptions for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV transmission went to women in 2016, according to a CDC report.

The CDC recommends use of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine daily to prevent HIV infections from developing in people at risk. This includes individuals with an HIV-infected partner, injection drug users, or sexually active individuals at substantial risk of contracting HIV. Based on an analysis of the IQVIA Real World Data—Longitudinal Prescriptions database, the annual number of PrEP users has increased 470% from 13 748 to 78 360 between 2014 and 2016. Still, only 7% of the estimated 1.1 million people with indications received PrEP prescriptions in 2016. The CDC also found substantial disparities in PrEP prescribing trends. Only 2.1% of 176 670 heterosexual women with PrEP indications received prescriptions. Based on the 32 853 individuals in the data set with racial or ethnic information, white individuals made up 26.3% of those with indications for HIV prophylaxis in 2016, yet they made up 68.7% of those who received prescriptions that year. Black individuals accounted for 43.7% of those with indications but only 11.2% of PrEP users, while Hispanic individuals accounted for 13.1% of prescriptions despite making up 24.7% of those with indications. There were also geographic disparities: although 52% of new HIV diagnoses occurred in the South, only 27% of PrEP users lived there.