Student perceptions of PrEP in an advanced HIV elective


  • Kimberly C. McKeirnan Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington, United States
  • Sorosh Kherghehpoush California Northstate University College of Pharmacy, California, United States
  • Angie Gladchuk Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington, United States
  • Shannon Patterson Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington, United States
  • Amy Min ViiV Healthcare, North Carolina, United States
  • Rustin D. Crutchley Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington, United States



Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Pharmacy education, Pharmacy practice, Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)


Background: The United States (U.S.) Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that over one million U.S. adults could benefit from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), but only 90,000 PrEP prescriptions are being filled annually. Pharmacists are well-positioned to offer PrEP, but a lack of awareness and knowledge about HIV PrEP has been a limitation. This study was designed to evaluate the knowledge, confidence, and perceptions of pharmacy students towards the use of HIV PrEP in high-risk populations before and after receiving a PrEP and PEP module in a two-credit hour Advanced HIV Elective course.  

Methods: Faculty in an Advanced HIV Elective course implemented a PrEP module and evaluated the impact on pharmacy student knowledge, confidence, and attitudes in 2020.    

Results: Participation led to a significant increase in student pharmacist confidence in offering patient education regarding the use of PrEP, risk mitigation counselling, accurately ordering labs, monitoring patients taking PrEP, and HIV medication therapy management. Additionally, HIV education shows decreased stigma and negative attitudes towards high-risk individuals.     

Conclusion: Integration of a PrEP module increased student pharmacist knowledge and confidence in providing PrEP services while reducing stigma towards those with HIV.


Ahmed, S. I., Hassali, M. A., & Aziz, N. A. (2009). An assessment of the knowledge, attitudes, and risk perceptions of pharmacy students regarding HIV/AIDS. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 73(1), 15.

American Academy of HIV Medicine. (n.d.) Supporting the HIV Care Provider and the Profession [Online]. Available: [Accessed December 15 2021]

Bott, A. M., Collins, J., Daniels-Costa, S., Maves, K., Runkle, A., Simon, A., Sheffer, K., Steers, R., Finocchio, J., Stringham, L., Sutedja, G., & United States Public Health Service National Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Committee (2019). Clinical Pharmacists Improve Patient Outcomes and Expand Access to Care. Federal practitioner : for the health care professionals of the VA, DoD, and PHS, 36(10), 471–475

Broekhuis, J. M., Scarsi, K. K., Sayles, H. R., Klepser, D. G., Havens, J. P., Swindells, S., & Bares, S. H. (2018). Midwest pharmacists' familiarity, experience, and willingness to provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV. PloS one, 13(11), e0207372.

California Legislative Information. (2019). Senate Bill 159 [Online]. Available: [Accessed December 15 2021]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). 2019 National HIV Surveillance System Reports [Online]. Available: [Accessed May 9 2022]

Colorado General Assembly. (2020). HB20-1061 Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Prevention Medications [Online]. Available: [Accessed December 15 2021]

Crutchley, R. D., Newsome, C., Chen, L. W., Li, D., Sarangarm, P., Min, A., Bowers, D., Coetzee, R., & McKeirnan, K. C. (2022). Design, Implementation, and Assessment Approaches Within an Advanced Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Elective Course. Journal of pharmacy practice, 8971900221108723. Advance online publication.

Dalton, K., & Byrne, S. (2017). Role of the pharmacist in reducing healthcare costs: current insights. Integrated pharmacy research & practice, 6, 37–46.

Derose, K. P., Bogart, L. M., Kanouse, D. E., Felton, A., Collins, D. O., Mata, M. A., Oden, C. W., Domínguez, B. X., Flórez, K. R., Hawes-Dawson, J., & Williams, M. V. (2014). An intervention to reduce HIV-related stigma in partnership with African American and Latino churches. AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education, 26(1), 28–42.

Geter, A., Herron, A. R., & Sutton, M. Y. (2018). HIV-Related Stigma by Healthcare Providers in the United States: A Systematic Review. AIDS patient care and STDs, 32(10), 418–424.

Hirschhorn, L. R., Brown, R. N., Friedman, E. E., Greene, G. J., Bender, A., Christeller, C., Bouris, A., Johnson, A. K., Pickett, J., Modali, L., & Ridgway, J. P. (2020). Black Cisgender Women's PrEP Knowledge, Attitudes, Preferences, and Experience in Chicago. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 84(5), 497–507.

Hubach, R. D., Currin, J. M., Sanders, C. A., Durham, A. R., Kavanaugh, K. E., Wheeler, D. L., & Croff, J. M. (2017). Barriers to Access and Adoption of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for the Prevention of HIV Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) in a Relatively Rural State. AIDS education and prevention: official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education, 29(4), 315–329.

Kherghehpoush, S., & McKeirnan, K. C. (2021). Pharmacist-led HIV and hepatitis C point-of-care testing and risk mitigation counseling in individuals experiencing homelessness. Exploratory research in clinical and social pharmacy, 1, 100007.

Machowska, A., Bamboria, B. L., Bercan, C., & Sharma, M. (2020). Impact of 'HIV-related stigma-reduction workshops' on knowledge and attitude of healthcare providers and students in Central India: a pre-test and post-test intervention study. BMJ open, 10(4), e033612.

McKeirnan, K., Kherghehpoush, S., Gladchuk, A., & Patterson, S. (2021). Addressing Barriers to HIV Point-of-Care Testing in Community Pharmacies. Pharmacy (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2), 84.

Meyerson, B. E., Dinh, P. C., Jr, Agley, J. D., Hill, B. J., Motley, D. N., Carter, G. A., Jayawardene, W., & Ryder, P. T. (2019). Predicting Pharmacist Dispensing Practices and Comfort Related to Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention (PrEP). AIDS and behavior, 23(7), 1925–1938.

Myers, J. E., Farhat, D., Guzman, A., & Arya, V. (2019). Pharmacists in HIV Prevention: An Untapped Potential. American journal of public health, 109(6), 859–861.

National HIV Curriculum. (n.d.) HIV Course Modules [Online]. Available: [Accessed December 15 2021]

Ojikutu, B. O., Bogart, L. M., Higgins-Biddle, M., Dale, S. K., Allen, W., Dominique, T., & Mayer, K. H. (2018). Facilitators and Barriers to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Use Among Black Individuals in the United States: Results from the National Survey on HIV in the Black Community (NSHBC). AIDS and behavior, 22(11), 3576–3587.

Oregon Legislative Information. (2021) 2021 Regular Session House Bill 2958 [Online]. Available: [Accessed December 15 2021]

Przybyla, S. M., Parks, K., Bleasdale, J., Sawyer, J., & Morse, D. (2019). Awareness, knowledge, and attitudes towards human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among pharmacy students. Currents in pharmacy teaching & learning, 11(4), 352–360.

Rathbun, R. C., Durham, S. H., Farmer, K. C., Zuckerman, A. D., & Badowski, M. E. (2020). Evaluation of human immunodeficiency virus curricular content in schools of pharmacy in the United States. Currents in pharmacy teaching & learning, 12(8), 910–917.

Remsberg, C. M., Bray, B. S., Wright, S. K., Ashmore, J., Kabasenche, W., Wang, S., Lazarus, P., & Daoud, S. S. (2017). Design, Implementation, and Assessment Approaches Within a Pharmacogenomics Course. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 81(1), 11.

Smith, D. K., Van Handel, M., Wolitski, R. J., Stryker, J. E., Hall, H. I., Prejean, J., Koenig, L. J., & Valleroy, L. A. (2015). Vital Signs: Estimated Percentages and Numbers of Adults with Indications for Preexposure Prophylaxis to Prevent HIV Acquisition--United States, 2015. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 64(46), 1291–1295.

Tsuyuki, R. T., Beahm, N. P., Okada, H., & Al Hamarneh, Y. N. (2018). Pharmacists as accessible primary health care providers: Review of the evidence. Canadian pharmacists journal : CPJ = Revue des pharmaciens du Canada : RPC, 151(1), 4–5.

U.S. Statistics. (2021). HIV.Gov. Available at: [Accessed May 9 2022]

US Public Health Service. (2017) Preexposure Prophylaxis for the Prevention of HIV Infection in the United States – 2017 Update [Online]. Available: [Accessed December 15 2021]

Washington State Department of Health. (2020) Guidance on Collaborative Drug Therapy Agreements [Online]. Available: [Accessed December 15 2021]




How to Cite

McKeirnan, K. C., Kherghehpoush, S., Gladchuk, A., Patterson, S., Min, A., & Crutchley, R. D. (2022). Student perceptions of PrEP in an advanced HIV elective. Pharmacy Education, 22(1), p. 936–943.



Programme Description