AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1833–1840 | Cite as

Factors Associated with Awareness of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Among Persons Who Inject Drugs in Philadelphia: National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, 2015

  • Alexis RothEmail author
  • Nguyen Tran
  • Brogan Piecara
  • Seth Welles
  • Jennifer Shinefeld
  • Kathleen Brady
Original Paper


Persons who inject drugs (PWID) continue to experience disproportionate HIV burden. Though studies demonstrate PWID find pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) acceptable, awareness and uptake remains low. Data from the 2015 PWID cycle of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (n = 612) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) were analyzed to evaluate how socio-demographics and behavioral factors impact PrEP awareness. Only 12.4% of PWID surveyed were PrEP-aware and 2.6% reported receiving a prescription. Factors associated with PrEP awareness included having at least some college education (aOR 2.13, 95% CI 1.03, 4.43), sharing paraphernalia (aOR 2.37, 95% CI 1.23, 4.56), obtaining syringes/needles primarily from a syringe exchange program (aOR 2.28, 95% CI 1.35, 3.87), STI testing (aOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.01, 2.89) and drug treatment (aOR 2.81, 95% CI 1.62, 4.87). Accessing prevention and health services increased the odds of being PrEP-aware; however, awareness was low overall. Additional promotion efforts are warranted.


Pre-exposure prophylaxis People who inject drugs (PWID) PrEP awareness HIV prevention Harm reduction 



None to report.


Supported by Grant No. 5 U1BPS003253 and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Compliance and Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures involving human participants were reviewed and approved by the City of Philadelphia Institutional Review Board. This study does not contain animals.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexis Roth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nguyen Tran
    • 2
  • Brogan Piecara
    • 1
  • Seth Welles
    • 2
  • Jennifer Shinefeld
    • 3
  • Kathleen Brady
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Community Health and Prevention, Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dornsife School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Philadelphia Department of Public HealthAIDS Activities Coordinating OfficePhiladelphiaUSA

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