HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis: Exploring the potential for expanding the role of pharmacists in public health

Olihe Okoro, Lisa Hillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives: The study objectives were to a) assess knowledge and experience; b) describe perceptions and attitudes; and c) identify training needs of community-based pharmacists regarding HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Design: This was a cross-sectional survey study. Setting and participants: The survey was administered online to pharmacists practicing in a community setting in the state of Minnesota. Outcome measures: Measures included knowledge of and experience with HIV PrEP, perceptions and attitudes towards pharmacists’ involvement, and HIV PrEP-specific training needs for pharmacists. Results: With a survey response rate of approximately 13% (n = 347), most respondents (76.4%) agreed that HIV PrEP can be beneficial in high-risk populations. Forty-six percent of respondents were not aware of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate for PrEP. Most respondents (71.1%) were “not at all familiar” with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for PrEP. Twenty-one percent of respondents had sufficient knowledge to counsel patients on PrEP. Experience with counseling on PrEP (21.8%), having dispensed PrEP in the last 2 years (33.1%), fewer years in practice (≤10 years), location of practice site (urban or suburban), and having received HIV continuing education in the last 2 years (33.0%) were associated with more knowledge of HIV PrEP. Top concerns with counseling were knowledge about the medication and behavior modification. The most frequently indicated primary concerns with implementing PrEP initiatives were identifying appropriate candidates and patient adherence. Conclusion: As pharmacists’ roles continue to expand, relevant content in pharmacy education and requisite training (including continuing education) are critical to addressing knowledge gaps and competencies that will enable pharmacists engage more effectively in public health efforts such as HIV prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-420.e3
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


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