Issue Brief: Expanding Access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for Adolescents and Young Adults:
Models for Addressing Consent, Confidentiality, and Payment Barriers
In May 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the once-daily oral medication Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for adolescents, in combination with safer sex practices, for reducing the risk of acquiring HIV. Previously, Truvada was approved as PrEP only for adults aged 18 and older. Adolescents and young adults bear a disproportionate HIV burden. In 2016, youth aged 13 to 24 made up 21% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Of these diagnoses in youth, most (81%) occurred among young gay and bisexual men, with Black and Latinx gay and bisexual men disproportionately affected.
Ensuring that adolescents and young adults at risk for HIV can access PrEP is a key step toward reducing the number of HIV diagnoses. Now that one barrier to PrEP has been eliminated, it is important to systematically assess and address other barriers to PrEP for adolescents and young adults.