Video Abstract

Video Abstract

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HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is safe, effective, and was approved for adolescents in 2018. Adolescents and young adults make up 20% of HIV diagnoses in the United States. Our objective was to describe trends in adolescents prescribed PrEP during 2018 through 2021 and characteristics of these adolescents and their PrEP providers.


We identified adolescents aged 13 to 19 years with oral PrEP prescriptions during 2018 through 2021 in a national pharmacy database using a validated algorithm. We assessed trends by calculating the overall percentage change and estimated annual percentage change with 95% confidence intervals. We described characteristics of adolescents and their PrEP providers in 2021. We performed χ2 analyses to assess differences by sex and age group.


The number of adolescents prescribed PrEP increased 76.2% from 2018 to 2021 (estimated annual percentage change: 18.0% [95% confidence interval: 16.6–19.5]), despite decreases in 2020. We observed increases among all sex and age groups, with larger increases among older adolescents aged 18 to 19 years. The majority of the 6444 adolescents prescribed PrEP in 2021 were male (82.6%) and aged 18 to 19 years (87.8%). Among 2455 physician PrEP providers, 29.6% were pediatricians, with varying specialty distributions by adolescent age group (P < .001). Among the 217 pediatricians who prescribed PrEP to adolescents aged 13 to 17 years, 67.7% were general pediatricians.


PrEP provision for adolescents has increased, largely among older and male adolescents. The availability of PrEP provides an important opportunity for pediatric providers to take an active role in HIV prevention.

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