Outcomes of Preexposure Prophylaxis Referrals From Public STI Clinics and Implications for the Preexposure Prophylaxis Continuum

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Abstract

Background

Human immunodeficiency virus preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake remains low in high-risk populations. Sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics reach PrEP-eligible persons and may be ideal settings to model PrEP implementation.

Methods

Consenting PrEP-eligible patients identified at Chicago Department of Public Health STI Clinics were actively referred to PrEP partner sites between June 1, 2015, and May 31, 2016. Outcomes included successful contact by a partner site, linkage to a partner site, and receipt of a PrEP prescription. Bivariable and time to event analyses were conducted to determine significant associations of outcomes.

Results

One hundred thirty-seven patients were referred; 126 (92%) were men who have sex with men, and mean age was 29 years. Ninety-eight (72%) were contacted by a PrEP partner, 43 (31%) were linked, and 40 (29%) received a prescription. Individuals aged 25 years and older were more likely to link (odds ratio, 3.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.30–7.41) and receive a PrEP prescription (odds ratio, 2.70; 95% confidence interval, 1.12–6.45) compared with individuals 24 years and younger. The average time between each step was greater for those 24 years and younger compared with those aged 25 years and older for all steps. Time to event analyses revealed that those aged 25 years and older were significantly more likely to receive a prescription compared to those aged 24 years and younger (hazard ratio, 3.62; 95% risk limits, 1.47–8.92).

Conclusions

Preexposure prophylaxis active referrals from STI clinics to partner sites are feasible, though drop out was prominent in the initial steps of the continuum. Youth were less likely to link or receive prescriptions, indicating the need for tailored interventions for this vulnerable population.

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