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Overcoming barriers to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) coverage in Australia among Medicare-ineligible people at risk of HIV: results from the MI-EPIC clinical trial

Overcoming barriers to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) coverage in Australia among... BackgroundOverseas-born people who are ineligible for government-subsidised health care experience barriers to accessing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Australia. This study aimed to assess a program providing free PrEP to overseas-born adults at risk of acquiring HIV.MethodsMedicare-Ineligible Expanded Implementation in Communities (MI-EPIC) was a single-arm, open-label trial of daily tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine as PrEP. Six clinics recruited Medicare-ineligible adults who met HIV risk criteria in New South Wales, Australia. We recorded data on HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses, and PrEP dispensing from July 2019 to June 2020. PrEP adherence as a medication possession ratio (MPR) was calculated as pills dispensed divided by days. We administered an optional survey on behaviours and attitudes to PrEP and sexual health.ResultsThe 221 participants (206 men; 93.2%) had a median age of 29 years (IQR 26–34). Participants were mostly born in Asia (53.4%), Latin America or the Caribbean (25.3%), or Europe (10.9%). Adherence was high; 190 participants (86.0%) had an MPR of >60%. Of 121 survey participants, 42 (34.7%) completed the survey in a language other than English. Of participants who had not used PrEP in the 6 months before enrolment (n = 45, 37.2%), the most common reasons were cost (n = 22, 48.9%), and lack of knowledge about accessing PrEP (n = 20, 44.4%).ConclusionsMedicare-ineligible people at risk of HIV demonstrate high adherence when given access to free PrEP and translated information. Increasing PrEP awareness and reducing barriers to accessing PrEP in this high-risk population should be priorities in HIV prevention. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sexual Health CSIRO Publishing

Overcoming barriers to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) coverage in Australia among Medicare-ineligible people at risk of HIV: results from the MI-EPIC clinical trial

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Publisher
CSIRO Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1448-5028
eISSN
1449-8987
DOI
10.1071/SH21096
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BackgroundOverseas-born people who are ineligible for government-subsidised health care experience barriers to accessing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Australia. This study aimed to assess a program providing free PrEP to overseas-born adults at risk of acquiring HIV.MethodsMedicare-Ineligible Expanded Implementation in Communities (MI-EPIC) was a single-arm, open-label trial of daily tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine as PrEP. Six clinics recruited Medicare-ineligible adults who met HIV risk criteria in New South Wales, Australia. We recorded data on HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses, and PrEP dispensing from July 2019 to June 2020. PrEP adherence as a medication possession ratio (MPR) was calculated as pills dispensed divided by days. We administered an optional survey on behaviours and attitudes to PrEP and sexual health.ResultsThe 221 participants (206 men; 93.2%) had a median age of 29 years (IQR 26–34). Participants were mostly born in Asia (53.4%), Latin America or the Caribbean (25.3%), or Europe (10.9%). Adherence was high; 190 participants (86.0%) had an MPR of >60%. Of 121 survey participants, 42 (34.7%) completed the survey in a language other than English. Of participants who had not used PrEP in the 6 months before enrolment (n = 45, 37.2%), the most common reasons were cost (n = 22, 48.9%), and lack of knowledge about accessing PrEP (n = 20, 44.4%).ConclusionsMedicare-ineligible people at risk of HIV demonstrate high adherence when given access to free PrEP and translated information. Increasing PrEP awareness and reducing barriers to accessing PrEP in this high-risk population should be priorities in HIV prevention.

Journal

Sexual HealthCSIRO Publishing

Published: Dec 13, 2021

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