Healthcare provider knowledge and attitudes about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in pregnancy in Cape Town, South Africa

Dvora L. Joseph Davey, Joseph Daniels, Cindy Beard, Nyiko Mashele, Linda Gail Bekker, Kathryn Dovel, Jabulani Ncayiyana, Thomas J. Coates, Landon Myer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in pregnancy can reduce HIV incidence and vertical transmission. Healthcare providers (HCPs) play a critical role in delivering PrEP in antenatal care but little is known about HCP knowledge and attitudes about PrEP in pregnancy. We conducted a qualitative study in two healthcare facilities to assess HCPs’ PrEP knowledge and perspectives relating to HIV prevention in pregnant women. Between January-March’19, we administered in-depth interviews among antenatal HCPs. We utilized a constant comparison approach to identify major qualitative findings. We enrolled 35 female HCPs (median age=43yrs. Fewer than half of HCPs had heard of PrEP before. Of those who had heard of PrEP, most felt that it was safe to take during pregnancy. Most HCPs described inaccurate PrEP knowledge regarding effectiveness, and most who knew about PrEP lacked clinical detail. HCPs highlighted important potential barriers to maternal PrEP use including: fear that PrEP may be unsafe, or belief that women must talk to partners/parents before initiating PrEP. Facilitators include good knowledge about serodiscordancy and vulnerability to seroconversion in pregnancy and desire to help women gain control overHIV prevention. We recommend integrating PrEP training into HIV testing and PMTCT nurse training to improve counseling and maternal PrEP delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1290-1294
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV prevention
  • PrEP
  • Pregnancy
  • South Africa
  • healthcare providers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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