The role of healthcare providers in the roll out of preexposure prophylaxis

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Purpose of reviewTo review the most recent studies assessing the preparedness of healthcare practitioners to provide anti-HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and suggest areas for future implementation research.Recent findingsAs PrEP is a biobehavioral intervention, healthcare providers are likely to play a critical role in implementing PrEP in care settings. Studies suggest that many specialized providers are aware of PrEP and support its provision as a public health intervention, though knowledge and acceptance are less among generalists. Therefore, utilization of PrEP by clinicians has been limited to a few early adopters. Concerns about the efficacy and long-term safety of PrEP, and perceived barriers to prescribing PrEP, could limit prescribing behaviors and intentions. Resistance to performing routine HIV risk assessments by clinicians is an additional barrier to implementing PrEP, although innovative tools to help clinicians routinely perform risk assessments, are being developed.SummaryInterventions are needed to engage a broader array of healthcare providers in PrEP provision. Utilizing a framework based on diffusion of innovation theory, this review proposes strategies that can be implemented and evaluated to increase PrEP prescribing by healthcare providers. If resources are invested in training clinicians to provide PrEP, then these stakeholders could enhance the use of PrEP as part of a prevention package by primary providers.

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