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Uptake and Repeat Use of Postexposure Prophylaxis in a Community-Based Clinic in Los Angeles, California

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Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) has become an important tool for HIV prevention in the men who have sex with men (MSM) communities within Los Angeles County. However, it is unclear as to whether the most sexually at-risk MSM populations are accessing PEP services. Furthermore, it is unclear what behavioral risk factors differentiate individuals who utilize PEP once (single PEP) versus those who utilize it multiple times (re-PEP). Data were collected between May 2011 and December 2012 on all clients enrolled in the Los Angeles LGBT Center's (the Center) PEP-LA program as well as on all sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening clients visiting the Center. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to analyze results. PEP clients had greater odds of having a history of gonorrhea in the past year when compared to high-risk, non-PEP clients (OR: 1.71; CI: 1.25-2.35). Furthermore, they had greater odds of using methamphetamines (OR: 1.71; CI: 1.30-2.24) and inhaled nitrates (OR: 1.62; CI: 1.30-2.01) in the past 12 months when compared to high-risk, non-PEP clients. Re-PEP clients had greater odds of methamphetamine use than single PEP clients (OR: 2.80; CI: 1.65-4.75). There were no significant differences by race/ethnicity between high-risk, non-PEP clients and PEP clients in either the entire cohort or MSM only sample. However, African Americans made up 8.5% of persons accessing PEP services but 16.7% of persons who tested HIV positive. Similar proportions of PEP use by race/ethnicity are problematic considering the disproportionate burden of HIV infections in the African American community. Although uptake among the highest risk populations has been brisk (n=649), inequities based upon race/ethnicity suggest the need for increased outreach.

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