Disparities in Awareness of HIV Postexposure and Preexposure Prophylaxis Among Notified Partners of HIV-Positive Individuals, New York City 2015–2017

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Named sex- or needle-sharing partners of HIV-positive individuals are a priority prevention population due to their known HIV exposure. Understanding postexposure and preexposure prophylaxis (PEP and PrEP) awareness and use among them is important for successful interventions.


Data from notified partners of HIV-positive individuals (New York City, May 2015–April 2017) were analyzed to describe PEP/PrEP awareness, provider discussion, and use by sociodemographic and risk characteristics. Multivariate logistic regression was used to generate adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of partners' PEP and PrEP awareness.


Among notified partners (n = 621), PEP and PrEP awareness were 34% and 44%, respectively; provider discussion of PEP was reported by 32% and of PrEP by 42%; PEP use was reported by 2% and PrEP use by 14%. PEP awareness was higher among men who have sex with men sex partners than among heterosexual sex partners (aOR: 4.21; 95% CI: 2.10 to 8.44). Odds of PrEP awareness were lower among black (aOR: 0.34; 95% CI: 0.15 to 0.75) and Hispanic partners (aOR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.17 to 0.84) than among white partners, and higher among men who have sex with men than heterosexual sex partners (aOR: 4.60; 95% CI: 2.38 to 8.87). Black partners were less likely than whites to report a provider discussion of PrEP. Postnotification HIV-positive test results were significantly lower among partners reporting PEP awareness than among those who had not heard of PEP.


Low levels of PEP/PrEP awareness and of provider PEP/PrEP discussion among notified partners, particularly blacks, Hispanics, and heterosexual sex partners, indicate the timeliness of tailored prevention messaging, provider training, and sensitization, to avoid disparities in PEP/PrEP use.

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