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Determinants of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) persistence in a high-risk population in Central Florida


Orlando has the second highest HIV incidence in the USA. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine is approved as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to minimize HIV transmission. Our study describes the PrEP care continuum and factors impacting PrEP persistence during the first year of PrEP care at a sexual health clinic in Orlando. Patients initiating PrEP between 2014 and 2017 with at least 1 year of follow-up were eligible for inclusion. Demographic and clinical factors were extracted from medical records. At the end of the first year of PrEP care, patients seen within the last 6 months were defined as ‘persistent’ whereas patients lost to follow-up for ≥6 months were defined as ‘not persistent’. We evaluated factors associated with PrEP persistence with Firth’s multivariable logistic regression. Of 300 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 96% were male, 59% were ≥30 years old, 59% identified as men who have sex with men and 57% endorsed recent condomless anal intercourse. Of PrEP initiators, 133 (44.3%) were persistent in the first year, whereas 167 (55.7%) were not persistent. PrEP persistence was positively associated with age ≥30 years (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.08) and negatively associated with non-white race (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.83). There were no HIV seroconversions among persistent patients. In our study, younger and minority patients were less likely to persist in PrEP care and persistence was poor despite many being insured and ‘high-risk’. Further research is needed to identify and address barriers that hinder PrEP persistence, specifically among younger, minority patients.

  • antiviral agents
  • community health services
  • immunosuppression

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