AC-2020-12-1420.R1–HIV care providers’ familiarity, concerns, and attitudes about HIV PrEP in Colombia: insights from the PrEP-Col-Study

Jorge Martínez-Cajas, Beatriz Alvarado-Llano, Ernesto Martínez-Buitrago, Julian Torres-Isasiga, Marcela Arrivillaga, Pilar Camargo, Ximena Galindo-Orrego, Héctor Mueses-Marín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 2019, Colombia approved the combination of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Therefore, we conducted a situational analysis in HIV-care providers to identify barriers and facilitators for PrEP implementation. A survey was applied to a non-probabilistic sample of health care workers of HIV-specialized clinics. We examined PrEP awareness and familiarity, comfort with PrEP-related activities, perceived barriers for PrEP implementation, concerns, and attitudes. Poisson regressions assessed the relationship between these factors and the variable “having a plan to offer PrEP”. The participation rate was 41% and included physicians (42.6%) and other health professionals (57.4%). Fifty-one percent of the participants reported more than five years of experience caring for people living with HIV. Forty-two percent of non-physician health care workers were nurses. Most reported high familiarity/comfort with PrEP-relevant activities. Concerns about PrEP were prevalent (> 50%) and included causing more harm than good, reducing condom use, medication non-adherence, drug resistance, and healthcare system barriers. Physicians had a plan to offer PrEP (72.2%) more often than other health professionals (52.6). Having a plan to offer PrEP was related to PrEP knowledge and comfort assessing sexual behavior and providing HIV counseling. Overall, about half of HIV-care providers seemed ready to offer PrEP and constitute an asset for PrEP implementation efforts in Colombia. PrEP awareness among non-physicians, PrEP concerns, and negative attitudes need to be addressed to enhance implementation.

Keywords

  • HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • HIV prevention
  • Implementation science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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