PrEP Drives Decline in New HIV Infections

Aug 2, 2023


Alto Pharmacy

The United States continues to make meaningful progress with HIV prevention efforts, as recently released CDC data shows that new infections fell by 12% from 2017 to 2021. Notably, new infections among 13- to 24-year-olds were 34% lower in 2021, contributing significantly to the overall decline.

The numbers reflect an increase in usage of the HIV prevention medication PrEP — an acronym for pre-exposure prophylaxis — which can lower the risk of sexual transmission by about 99% when taken as prescribed. It is typically recommended for people whose partner is HIV-positive or unsure of their HIV status. 30% of the 1.2 million individuals who could benefit from PrEP were prescribed it in 2021, the CDC reports, in contrast to 13% in 2017.

Despite these gains, HIV continues to disproportionately affect people of color, with the decline in new annual infections lower among young Black and Latinx gay and bisexual men. Equity in HIV prevention is an established challenge. According to 2016 CDC data, white individuals accounted for 69% of PrEP use, while Black and Latinx individuals accounted for 13% and 11%, respectively. The CDC’s latest numbers suggest that PrEP remained underutilized among Black and Latinx people in 2021, indicating that prevention and treatment are not reaching all racial and ethnic groups equitably.

PrEP Affordability Resources

Cost is often a barrier to starting PrEP, but thanks to financial resources and expanded insurance coverage, the medication continues to become more affordable. To learn more about accessing PrEP at the best price, read our post on PrEP affordability resources for all insurance statuses here. You can also take a closer look at state patient assistance programs here.

Getting Started With PrEP

You can get a prescription for PrEP from your doctor. If you do not have a provider or are unable to get a prescription from them, the resources below can connect you with a PrEP prescriber. Note that negative HIV test results are required to begin taking PrEP, and ongoing medical care, including routine tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), is required to continue treatment.


PrEP Locator


Expert Pharmacist Support for PrEP Treatment

Alto will coordinate with your doctor and your insurance provider to ensure you’re receiving the best PrEP option for your needs at the most affordable price. We offer delivery right to your doorstep, with discrete, private packaging. The app offers a direct line to pharmacists with expertise in HIV treatment and prevention, as well as reminders to help you stay on track.

Interested in learning more about how Alto can support your PrEP treatment? Reach out through secure in-app messaging.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.