HealthDay News — For internal medicine (IM) residents, prior training is associated with higher levels of knowledge, comfort, and prescribing behaviors for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV, according to a study published online April 24 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Christopher Terndrup, M.D., from Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, and colleagues created an online survey to examine IM residents’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to PrEP. The survey was distributed among five IM programs, with 229 respondents.

The researchers found that 96 percent of the respondents had heard of PrEP, but only 25 and 11 percent had received prior training and had prescribed PrEP, respectively. Those with prior training reported good to excellent knowledge scores regarding PrEP compared with those without training (80 versus 33 percent), and they had more frequent prescribing levels (28 versus 7 percent) and higher comfort levels with assessing HIV risk (75 versus 26 percent), educating patients (56 versus 16 percent), and monitoring PrEP (47 versus 8 percent). Seventy-five percent of respondents reported that training all providers at their continuity clinic sites would result in improved implementation.

“As PrEP is an effective and underutilized tool in reducing the burden of HIV, residency programs should be preparing their residents to care for patients in need of PrEP,” the authors write. “With an expanding role among primary care providers in prescribing PrEP, future Internists represent a significant foundation for access to PrEP.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Gilead.

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