Barriers to HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use have not been well-characterized in people who became HIV-infected, all of whom could have benefited from PrEP. We invited Kaiser Permanente Northern California members diagnosed with HIV during 2014-2016, following a negative HIV test in the prior year, to complete a survey assessing barriers to PrEP use before HIV diagnosis. Of 268 patients surveyed, 122 (46%) responded. Median age was 36, most (84%) were men who have sex with men, and 64% were of minority racial/ethnic background. Thirty-six (30%) had discussed PrEP with a provider, of whom 10 were diagnosed with HIV at PrEP intake. Overall, only 5 (4.1%) had used PrEP, and all 5 discontinued before diagnosis. Among all respondents, the most common barrier to PrEP use was lack of PrEP awareness (51%). Among those aware of PrEP, the most common barriers were cost/insurance concerns (36%) and perceived low risk for HIV (24%). Lack of PrEP awareness ranged from 39% among those aged 25-34 to 88% among those aged <25 (P = 0.011), and from 33% among Hispanics to 69% among Blacks (P = 0.055). Increasing awareness and affordability of PrEP, and facilitating accurate assessment of HIV risk, are critical to reducing missed opportunities for PrEP.
Barriers to preexposure prophylaxis use among individuals with recently acquired HIV infection in Northern California.