Prescribing HIV PrEP and the Need for Education Among Care Providers
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a biomedical intervention to prevent the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Under-prescribing PrEP could increase the probability of HIV exposure among serodivergent couples/partners and persons who do not practice safer sex. The previous works on PrEP did not assess the association between awareness of PrEP, years of experience of the providers, provider types, and the frequency of PrEP among physicians. The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that awareness of PrEP, years of experience, and provider types might be the predictors of the frequency of PrEP among Physicians. Precaution adoption process model theoretical framework and cross-sectional design were applied to survey 100 physicians. Kendall's tau-b correlation test and Fisher’s exact test of awareness was the primary barrier to prescribing PrEP at the providers’ level. Higher awareness of PrEP and years of experience were associated with the frequency of PrEP prescription. However, there was an insignificant difference between provider types and the frequency of PrEP Prescription. The findings support the notion that independently from their years of experience and specialty, the more physicians know about PrEP, the more they prescribe it. The results and recommendations contribute to positive social change by providing information to develop a comprehensive PrEP education curriculum for care providers. Our findings indicate that physicians need education and training to fully understand the potential of PrEP to reduce HIV transmission.