PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is when people at risk for HIV take HIV medicine daily to lower their chances of getting infected with HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that approximately 1.2 million people are at high risk for HIV exposure and could benefit from comprehensive HIV prevention strategies, including PrEP.
What is Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)?
- Pre = before
- Exposure = coming into contact with HIV
- Prophylaxis = treatment to prevent an infection from happening
The PrEP utilization data on AIDSVu reveal a 55% average annual increase in persons using PrEP across the U.S. — including a 39% increase from 2017 to 2018. While these data point to significant growth in PrEP use nationwide, they also highlight important disparities in PrEP use across different sexes, age groups, geographic location, socioeconomic status, and access to care. More than 38,600 individuals were diagnosed with HIV in 2017, underscoring the need to continue expanding the use of PrEP and other comprehensive HIV prevention strategies.
AIDSVu’s PrEP data, which provide a reliable and consistent metric for PrEP users in each county and state in the U.S. by year from 2012 to 2018, can be stratified by age and sex. These data and maps offer important, comparative information and tools to public health officials, policymakers, and researchers to inform efforts to increase PrEP awareness and access where it is needed most. Please see the Data Methods page for additional information on the data set and its limitations.
In conjunction with the launch of AIDSVu’s PrEP data and maps, two studies were conducted and published in Annals of Epidemiology, presenting key insights from the county-level data. According to Siegler et al.’s article in Annals of Epidemiology, PrEP use varied greatly across the U.S. Additionally, Sullivan et al.’s article in Annals of Epidemiology found significant disparities in PrEP use among Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative jurisdictions. For full insights from AIDSVu’s PrEP use data and maps, visit our insights blog.
Using the PrEP Data
Public Health Officials & Policy Makers
- Understand local PrEP use and disparities in use to help inform data-driven policies and programs to increase awareness of and access to PrEP.
- Inform Getting to Zero campaigns as PrEP is an essential HIV prevention tool and one of four key focus areas in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce new HIV infections.
- Identify trends and gaps in PrEP access, outline facilitators and barriers to PrEP expansion, and determine areas for further exploration.
- Utilize data and maps to assist with planning processes, resource allocation, presentations, grant writing and review.
- Raise awareness of PrEP use in your community and the need to expand the use of PrEP among those at high risk of getting HIV.
- Educate your elected officials and encourage policy change to increase PrEP awareness and access.
PrEP-to-Need Ratio (PnR)
*Lighter shading indicates fewer PrEP users relative to epidemic need.
- Overall, the annual PnR increased from 0.3 in 2012 to 4.9 in 2018
- In other words, in 2018, for every one person newly diagnosed with HIV, there were 4.9 HIV-negative persons using PrEP
- In 2018, the PnR for women (1.6) was less than a third of the PnR for men (5.7), indicating an inequity in PrEP use for women relative to their need
- The Southern U.S. represented half of new HIV diagnoses in 2017 (52%) but had the lowest PnR (3.0) in 2018 among all regions. In contrast, the Northeast region had the highest PnR (8.5) in 2018
- While the annual PnR increased for all age groups from 2012 to 2018, those aged 24 years and younger had the lowest PnR (3.3) and those aged 35 to 44 years had the highest PnR (6.1)
Understand PrEP where you live by exploring AIDSVu’s PrEP utilization map and PrEP services locator.
Beyond the Map
AIDSVu offers tools and resources beyond the HIV map that provide users with a deeper understanding of the HIV epidemic, its socioeconomic driving factors, and services available at the community level.