Race and Medicine

Race and Medicine

Perspective from Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
October 07, 2021
1 min read

PrEP awareness, referrals low among Hispanic, Latino people

Perspective from Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Only around a quarter of Hispanic/Latino people receiving a CDC-funded HIV test were aware of PrEP, and an even smaller proportion of those eligible for the HIV prevention medication were referred to a PrEP provider, a study found.

HIV PrEP has been approved in the United States since 2012, but uptake — although increasing — has fallen short of goals.

Source: Adobe Stock.
PrEP awareness is low among Hispanic/Latino patients. Source: Adobe Stock.

Shubha Rao, MPH, and colleagues in the CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention used 2019 testing data from a CDC-funded national HIV prevention program to measure PrEP awareness and referrals among Hispanic/Latino patients at 60 state, local and territorial health departments, and 29 directly funded community-based organizations.

During that year, 2,341,342 CDC-funded HIV tests were conducted in the U.S. Of these, 546,337 (23.3%) were taken by Hispanic/Latino patients, 919,066 (39.3%) by Black patients, and 658,496 (28.1%) by white patients.

Among all those with PrEP-related data, PrEP awareness was slightly higher among Hispanic/Latino people (27.4%) than Black people (26.2%; prevalence rate = 1.05; 95% CI, 1.04-1.06), but lower compared with white people (31.4%; PR = 0.87; 95% CI, 0.87-0.88).

Hispanic/Latino people were more likely to be referred to a PrEP provider (22%) compared with Black people (20.8%; PR = 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04-1.07) but less likely compared with white people (25.9%; PR = 0.85; 95% CI, 0.84-0.86).

“PrEP use is increasing among Hispanic/Latino populations in the United States; however, low levels of PrEP awareness and referrals to PrEP providers among Hispanic/Latino persons in general and compared with non-Hispanic white persons suggest a need to identify and remove barriers to awareness of, referral to, and receipt of PrEP services,” the authors wrote.


CDC. HIV. PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis). https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html. Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.

Rao S, et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7040a1.