Correlates of Linkage to HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis Among HIV-Testing Clients

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Abstract

Background:

Publicly funded HIV-testing sites can identify HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) candidates and provide PrEP linkage.

Setting:

Harris Health System's HIV clinic, HIV-testing program, and HIV-prevention program (HPP) in Houston, TX, a high HIV-incidence city.

Methods:

A prospective assessment of individuals aged 18 years and older recruited from walk-in HIV testing from December 2013 to April 2015 included risk assessment, HIV testing, and self-administered survey, with follow-up surveys at 6 and 12 months and medical record review.

Results:

The mean age of our sample (n = 300) was 38.3 ± 11.7 years. Men constituted 63.1% of the sample and 53.7% were black non-Hispanic, 26.3% Hispanic, and 14.7% white non-Hispanic. Most were uninsured (63.5%). Only 27% always used condoms, although 67% perceived personal HIV risk. Of 300 participants, 64 (21.3%) linked to PrEP care and 49 (16.3%) took PrEP. In multivariable analysis, compared with heterosexual men, women [adjusted OR (aOR) 4.1, 95% CI: 1.5 to 11.1] and MSM (aOR 10.2, 95% CI: 3.4 to 31.0) were more likely to attend HPP and to take PrEP (aOR 3.0, 95% CI: 1.6 to 15.1 and 3.0, 95% CI: 1.1 to 8.3, respectively). Serodiscordance and PrEP interest correlated with program attendance (aOR 14.0, 95% CI: 6.1 to 32.3 and aOR 6.7, 95% CI: 1.8 to 25.4) and taking PrEP (aOR 13.1, 95% CI: 5.2 to 32.8 and 14.4, 95% CI: 1.8 to 166.9), respectively.

Conclusions:

Preexposure prophylaxis interest, being female or MSM, and serodiscordance correlated with PrEP linkage. Safety-net health systems can facilitate PrEP access in marginalized populations, but the PrEP initiation rates remain low.

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