Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention among people who inject drugs: A global mapping of service delivery


BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for all people at substantial risk of HIV as part of combination prevention. The extent to which this recommendation has been implemented globally for people who inject drugs is unclear. This study mapped global service delivery of PrEP for people who inject drugs. METHODS: Between October and December 2021, a desk review was conducted to obtain information on PrEP services for people who inject drugs from drug user-led networks and HIV, harm reduction, and human rights stakeholders. Websites of organizations involved in HIV prevention or services for people who inject drugs were searched. Models of service delivery were described in terms of service location, provider, and package. RESULTS: PrEP services were identified in 27 countries (15 high-income). PrEP delivery models varied within and across countries. In most services, PrEP services were implemented in healthcare clinics without direct links to other harm reduction services. In three countries, PrEP services were also provided at methadone clinics. In 14 countries, PrEP services were provided through community-based models (outside of clinic settings) that commonly involved peer-led outreach activities and integration with harm reduction services. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates limited PrEP availability for people who inject drugs. There is potential to expand PrEP services for people who inject drugs within harm reduction programs, notably through community-based and peer-led services. PrEP should never be offered instead of evidence-based harm reduction programs for people who inject drugs; however, it could be offered as an additional HIV prevention choice as part of a comprehensive harm reduction program.


Shaw G, Schaefer R, Schmidt HA, Madden A, Chang J, Mozalevskis A, Msimanga-Radebe B, Mangadan Konath N, Verster A, Baggaley R, Rodolph M, Macdonald V




  • Population(s)
    • People who use drugs
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
  • Substance Use
    • Nonmedicinal drugs
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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