Prevent new HIV transmissions by using proven interventions, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and syringe services programs (SSPs)

The HIV epidemic affects communities differently. Locally designed plans will guide the scale-up proven interventions, such as PrEP and SSPs, to address communities’ unique needs.


PrEP is a pill that reduces the risk of getting HIV when taken as prescribed. Fewer than 25%external icon of the estimated more than 1 million Americans who could benefit from PrEP are using this prevention medication. As part of Ending the HIV Epidemic, state and local communities, in partnership with CDC and other federal agencies, will implement strategies to increase access to and use of PrEP—especially among African American and Latino gay and bisexual men, African American women, and other populations disproportionately affected by HIV.

As part of its role in Ending the HIV Epidemic, CDC:

  • And the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will train healthcare providers on prescribing and managing PrEP, and HRSA will work  to increase the availability of PrEP services in community health centers.
  • And the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will conduct outreach to people at highest risk so they know PrEP is available and how to access it.
  • Will continue to update clinical guidelines for prescribing PrEP, and add more public and private providers who offer PrEP to its PrEP Locator.
  • Will continue to provide education campaigns for both the public and healthcare providers to combat stigma associated with PrEP use, as well as the stigma associated with HIV.

Comprehensive SSPs

Comprehensive SSPs have been shown to dramatically reduce HIV risk and can provide an entry point for a range of services to help stop drug use, overdose deaths, and infectious diseases. Research shows that new users of SSPs are five times more likely to enter drug treatment, and about three times more likely to stop using drugs than people who don’t use the programs.

Yet many communities now threatened by the opioid epidemic and increasing injection drug use have not had the resources to establish effective SSPs. CDC will work with SAMHSA to increase access to and use of comprehensive SSPs, and will work with local communities to implement SSPs where they are needed and permitted by state and local laws.

CDC issued guidance on how to deliver these critical HIV prevention services during disruptions in clinical services. This includes offering guidance for providing PrEP when facility-based services and in-person patient-clinician contact is limited, as well as interim guidance for SSP programs operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Innovations spurred by COVID-19, like expansion in self-testing and telemedicine, have the potential to help achieve the goals of the initiative to end HIV—during this pandemic and beyond, we will continue to provide guidance and share creative community-based solutions to deliver prevention in new ways that are accessible to those in greatest need.

Page last reviewed: July 30, 2020