For Immediate Distribution
February 1, 2018
Elizabeth Wu, email@example.com, 310-825-9153
Further Disparities in PrEP Uptake Revealed Among Medi-Cal Beneficiaries
Differences Found by Age, Gender, Race/Ethnicity and Geographic Region
LOS ANGELES — Despite large increases in PrEP use across California, a new study funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program finds sharp differences in uptake by age, gender, race/ethnicity and geographic region. In this first look at PrEP prescription data among beneficiaries of California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, researchers we are able to document that from 2012 through 2016, PrEP uptake was lower among Blacks, Hispanics, women, and people between the ages of 13-24. Disparities were also identified with regard to geographic region. Uptake was highest in San Francisco County, followed by San Diego and Los Angeles Counties.
Key findings include:
Senior author, Nina Harawa, PhD, MPH of UCLA and Charles Drew University shared, “Even when accessible, PrEP’s reach into communities most impacted by HIV continues to fall short. If increased PrEP use is a key strategy for California’s plan to get to zero new infections, it is critical that we examine these disparities and remove social and logistical barriers to PrEP use for young and old, women as well as men, and black and brown communities.”
These findings echo data from Gilead Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the currently approved PrEP regimen, Truvada®. In 2017, Gilead noted that PrEP uptake varies by demographic characteristics, risk group, and region in the U.S. This work also undescores finding from a prior study by the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center that identified racial/ethnic disparities in PrEP uptake among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with (MSM) in California and indications of a significant association between higher income and PrEP usage. Both full reports can be found at chprc.org.
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