HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake among high-risk population in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Globally, 38.4 million people are affected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic, and more than 2.5 million new HIV infections occur yearly. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been widely recognized as a potential way to prevent new infections among risk population. There is a paucity of abridged evidence on the level and barriers to PrEP service uptake in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Therefore, we conducted a systematic review to synthesize existing evidence on PrEP uptake in SSA. Relevant studies were searched from major databases (PubMed and PsychInfo) and direct Google Scholar. Data were extracted and recorded using a pilot-tested template. Methodological rigor, heterogeneity and publication bias of studies were assessed to minimize the inclusion of erroneous findings. A random effect model was used for the meta-analysis followed by narrative metasynthesis. The protocol of this systematic review has been by registered PROSPERO (ID: CRD42022308855). A total of 1830 studies were retrieved, and 30 studies met inclusion criteria of the systematic review. People who heard about PrEP ranged from 23% to 98%. The pooled prevalence of willingness to use PrEP was 64.2% (95% confidence interval: 55.5–72.0). Fear of side effect, stigma, nonreceptive attitude, cost of pills, low awareness about PrEP, perceived reason about the effectiveness of PrEP, and lack of friendly services were the common barriers to PrEP uptake in Africa. In conclusion, comprehensive knowledge and willingness to use PrEP were low in SSA. The barriers to low PrEP service uptake are avoidable through comprehensive awareness creation and availing essential services to key population in Africa. Expanding educational messages to key population using friendly approaches and more accessible platforms, engaging stakeholders, and integrating PrEP service with routine health care are important to foster HIV prevention and control in the future.


Nagai H, Ankomah A, Fuseini K, Adiibokah E, Semahegn A, Tagoe H




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Education
    • Health services
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions


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