North Carolina bears a high burden of HIV and was ranked number 8 for the number of new infections in 2015. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated practice guidelines recommending the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with daily oral dosing of tenofovir/emtricitabine to help prevent HIV infection in high-risk individuals. However, the use of PrEP in the primary care setting remains low and 1 in 3 primary care physicians is not aware of PrEP. The objective of our study was to evaluate PrEP knowledge among primary care resident physicians.
149 resident physicians were surveyed at East Carolina University from the following specialties; Internal Medicine, Medicine-Pediatrics, Obstetrics Gynecology and Family Medicine. We collected participants’ age, biological sex, current residency program, and current year within the residency program.
60 out 149 residents completed the online survey. 20% of residents had never heard of PrEP. 17% of residents did not feel comfortable discussing sexual preferences with their patients. 15% of residents thought prescribing would increase risky sexual behaviors and 12% would not prescribe PrEP to patients with multiple sexual partners. Only 3% of residents identified potential side effects of PrEP (e.g., an increase in creatinine levels or decrease in mineral bone density) as a reason to not prescribe PrEP. One resident had ever prescribed PrEP. 83% of residents wanted more information on PrEP and 95% of residents would be willing to prescribe PrEP if educational workshops were offered.
PrEP is an underutilized tool among resident physicians in Eastern, NC. We identified lack of knowledge of PrEP and concern for increased risky sexual behaviors as barriers to prescribing. Resident physicians require more education on PrEP in order to prescribe it to their patients.
N. Fadul, None