The Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Care Cascade in People who Inject Drugs: A Systematic Review

HIV/TB Research 25 Sep 2023

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Injection drug use is a key risk factor for the transmission of HIV. Prevention strategies, such as the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), are effective at reducing the risk of HIV transmission in people who inject drugs (PWID). Following PRISMA guidelines, a literature search was conducted to identify the current state of the PrEP care cascade in PWID. Twenty-three articles were evaluated in this systematic review. A decline in engagement throughout the stages of the PrEP care cascade was found. High awareness and willingness to use PrEP was found, yet PrEP uptake was relatively low (0–3%). There is a lack of research on interventions to increase engagement of PrEP across all levels of the care cascade in PWID. Implications from the interventions that have been published provide insight into practice and public policy on efficacious strategies to reduce HIV incidence in PWID. Our findings suggest that more efforts are needed to identify and screen PWID for PrEP eligibility and to link and maintain them with appropriate PrEP care.