Values and preferences on the use of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention among multiple populations: A systematic review of the literature


Daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of antiretroviral drugs by HIV-negative people to prevent HIV infection. WHO released new guidelines in 2015 recommending PrEP for all populations at substantial risk of HIV infection. To prepare these guidelines, we conducted a systematic review of values and preferences among populations that might benefit from PrEP, women, heterosexual men, young women and adolescent girls, female sex workers, serodiscordant couples, transgender people and people who inject drugs, and among healthcare providers who may prescribe PrEP. A comprehensive search strategy reviewed three electronic databases of articles and HIV-related conference abstracts (January 1990-April 2015). Data abstraction used standardised forms to categorise by population groups and relevant themes. Of 3068 citations screened, 76 peer-reviewed articles and 28 conference abstracts were included. Geographic coverage was global. Most studies (N = 78) evaluated hypothetical use of PrEP, while 26 studies included individuals who actually took PrEP or placebo. Awareness of PrEP was low, but once participants were presented with information about PrEP, the majority said they would consider using it. Concerns about safety, side effects, cost and effectiveness were the most frequently cited barriers to use. There was little indication of risk compensation. Healthcare providers would consider prescribing PrEP, but need more information before doing so. Findings from a rapidly expanding evidence base suggest that the majority of populations most likely to benefit from PrEP feel positively towards it. These same populations would benefit from overcoming current implementation challenges with the shortest possible delay.


Koechlin FM, Fonner VA, Dalglish SL, O'Reilly KR, Baggaley R, Grant RM, Rodolph M, Hodges-Mameletzis I, Kennedy CE




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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