PrEP: It's Working in Boston

Primary care clinics could easily offer pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV/AIDS to appropriate patients, a team of Boston, Massachusetts researchers concluded.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) could be effective for an estimated 1.2 million people in the US, Boston, Massachusetts researchers estimate.

From January to February, 2015, Douglas Krakower, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and colleagues surveyed 32 clinicians at a community health center in Boston, Massachusetts that offers care to LGBTQ people.

Their study was published in The Journal of the International AIDS Society.

Of the 91% of those surveyed who completed the questionnaire, 97% said they had prescribed PrEP. The respondents said there was high adherence to the regimen and infrequently seen medication toxicity.

Most, but not all respondents reported they also provided HIV testing and counseling on risk-reduction as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The clinicians had a median number of 20 patients each.

Primary care providers have not been quick to take up PrEP prescribing, the researchers said, so their findings are encouraging.

The clinicians surveyed ". . . perceived that PrEP provision to large numbers of patients was safe, feasible and potentially effective," the concluded. "Efforts to engage generalist primary care clinicians in PrEP provision could facilitate scale-up of this efficacious intervention," the researchers concluded.

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