PrEP Knowledge and Attitudes Among Adults Attending Public Health Clinics in Southern Arizona

Tanwe C. Shende, Julia M. Fisher, Carlos M. Perez-Velez, Alyssa A. Guido, Kristi M. Sprowl, Taylor M. Drake, Maria L. Adelus, Edward J. Bedrick, Lori E. Fantry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is underutilized among Hispanics, women, and low-income individuals. To better understand PrEP barriers in this population, questionnaires were administered to 500 patients attending public health clinics in southern Arizona which provide family planning and sexually transmitted infections care. Sixty-three percent believed that they had no risk of HIV infection. When asked “Before today, did you know that there was a pill that can prevent HIV infection?” 80% of persons answered no. Among women, 88% answered no to this question. As expected, individuals with a higher perceived HIV risk (OR 1.76) or one HIV risk factor (OR 5.85) had a higher probability of knowledge. Among survey participants 87% would take a daily pill, 91% would visit a health-care provider every 3 months, and 92% would have laboratory testing every 3 months. Fifty-four percent would not be afraid or embarrassed if friends or family knew they were taking PrEP. Seventy-two percent would take PrEP despite temporary nausea. Sixty-two percent would pay ≥ $40 every 3 months for PrEP. Lack of knowledge, rather than patient attitudes, is the more important barrier to wider utilization of PrEP among individuals, especially women, attending public health clinics in Southern Arizona. Future efforts need to focus on education and access to PrEP in underserved populations including women and Hispanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-406
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • Hispanic
  • Low income
  • Public health clinic
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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