Provider Knowledge Gaps in HIV PrEP Affect Practice Patterns in the US Navy

Kerry Wilson, Charmagne G. Beckett, Jason M. Blaylock, Jason F. Okulicz, Paul T. Scott, Shilpa Hakre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is available at no cost to personnel in the United States (U.S.) military, uptake has been lower than expected. An online survey was conducted assessing current knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes of primary care providers in the U.S. Navy. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional anonymous online survey was conducted among U.S. Navy healthcare providers in active service. Providers' demographics, medical practice and PrEP experience, and attitudes regarding PrEP were assessed by self-rated PrEP knowledge. Results: Greater than half of respondents reported being knowledgeable about PrEP and a majority (78%) supported the provision of PrEP in the military health system. However, only 19% had ever prescribed PrEP. Self-reports of having been questioned by a patient about PrEP, having high levels of comfort discussing sexual risk behaviors, and being in a specialty of infectious disease, occupational health, or preventive medicine were associated with increased knowledge about PrEP. The more knowledgeable a provider was about PrEP, the more likely they were to prescribe it (29% vs. 6%). Conclusions: Although Navy providers were supportive of the provision of PrEP by the military, knowledge gaps remain. Training to address the knowledge deficit as well as improving sexual history taking are potential areas to target in implementing PrEP in primary care specialties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E117-E124
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 12 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • United States Navy
  • health care providers


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