RALEIGH, N.C. — A new public opinion survey data released shows that only a small percentage of North Carolinians have ever heard of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, a daily pill that has been shown to prevent HIV transmission when taken consistently.
Results from statewide survey respondents show that nine percent of respondents had ever heard of PrEP, 59 percent had not and 32 percent answered that they were not sure.
“Though we knew not enough people were aware of PrEP, the data is quite striking and reinforces that our public health response must rapidly hasten if we’re serious about stopping the spread of HIV,” said Lee Storrow, executive director of the NC AIDS Action Network. He added, “We have a pill that will prevent HIV transmission, a medical breakthrough only dreamed about just a decade ago. It’s inexcusable that so few people even know it exists. We must do more to educate the public, and make sure those in need have access to the medication.”
Once those surveyed were informed about PrEP, a majority of both Republicans and Democrats supported efforts in local health departments to fund programs to provide PrEP to low-income individuals who might not be able to access it otherwise.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do to make sure residents of our state know that we can prevent HIV with a once-a day-pill. Several of our health departments across the state have started programs to make sure residents can access PrEP, and I hope that accelerates in the future,” Executive Director of the NC Association of Local Health Directors Lynette Tolson shared.
The survey was performed on 409 North Carolinians by Public Policy Polling on behalf of the NC AIDS Action Network from July 30-31.
The NC AIDS Action Network and Latino Commission on AIDS are hosting a webinar on Aug. 27 at 12 p.m. to discuss the survey data and highlight current efforts in local health departments to increase PrEP access. Those interested in the webinar can register online at bit.ly/2N0n3YW.