AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 1309–1314 | Cite as

Reaching Key Populations: PrEP Uptake in an Urban Health Care System in the Bronx, New York

  • Cedric H. BienEmail author
  • Viraj V. Patel
  • Oni J. Blackstock
  • Uriel R. Felsen
Original Paper


Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been established as an effective HIV prevention tool, but real world studies are limited. To inform dissemination efforts, we sought to describe individuals prescribed PrEP in the largest health care system in the Bronx, New York, an urban region with a high burden of HIV. We used a clinical database and chart review to identify individuals prescribed PrEP between 2011 and 2015 (n = 108). A majority were Black and Hispanic, half were men who have sex with men, and nearly a third were cisgender women who have sex with men. Primary care settings were the most common site of PrEP prescription and PrEP prescription rates increased over time. Despite reaching a diverse patient population, PrEP prescribing rates were low, underscoring the urgent need for PrEP scale-up.


PrEP Pre-exposure prophylaxis HIV prevention Implementation New York 


La profilaxis previa a la exposición (PrEP) se ha establecido como una herramienta eficiente de prevención al VIH, pero los estudios en la práctica clínica son limitados. Para informar los esfuerzos de diseminación, buscamos describir los individuos prescritos con PrEP en el Bronx, Nueva York, una región urbana con una alta prevalencia de VIH. Utilizamos una base de datos clínicos y una revisión de expedientes para identificar a los individuos que recibieron PrEP entre 2011 y 2015 (n = 108). La mayoría de los individuos eran afroamericanos o hispanos, la mitad eran hombres que tenían relaciones sexuales con hombres, y casi un tercio eran mujeres cisgénero que tenían relaciones sexuales con hombres. Los centros de atención primaria fueron los sitios más comúnes en donde se daba la prescripción de PrEP y estas aumentaron con el tiempo. A pesar de llegar a una población diversa de pacientes, las tasas de prescripción de PrEP fueron bajas y subrayan la necesidad urgente de aumentar la distribución de PrEP a grande escala.



We wish to thank Laurie Ignacio for assistance with Spanish translation, as well as Alex Lankowski and Richard Silvera for assistance with previous versions of this manuscript.


This work was supported in part by the Einstein-Rockefeller-CUNY Center for AIDS Research funded by the National Institutes of Health (P30-AI-051519). Viraj Patel is supported by K23-MH102118, Oni Blackstock is supported by K23-MH102129, and Uriel Felsen is supported by K23-MH106386.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent was not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cedric H. Bien
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Viraj V. Patel
    • 1
  • Oni J. Blackstock
    • 1
  • Uriel R. Felsen
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of General Internal MedicineAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family and Social MedicineMontefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA
  3. 3.Division of Infectious DiseasesAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA

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