State health policies and interest in PrEP: evidence from Google Trends

Bita Fayaz Farkhad, Mohammadreza Nazari, Man pui Sally Chan, Dolores Albarracín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the association between interest in Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in the US using Google Health Trends as a source of big data and state policy variables of Medicaid expansions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and initiation of PrEP Assistance Programs (PrEP-AP). As of December 2019, thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have accepted federal Medicaid funding provided through the ACA to expand eligibility to low-income adults. Among these expansion states, eight states also implemented PrEP-AP, a program that finances PrEP. A difference-in-differences approach estimated how changes in Google search for PrEP before and after the expansion differed across expansion and non-expansion states. Analyses also gauged whether the magnitude of the correlation between Medicaid expansions and Google searches was higher in states that also initiated PrEP-AP. Findings indicated that the Medicaid expansions were associated with a higher share of Google searches for PrEP keywords ((Formula presented.), S.E. =.36, (Formula presented.)). Moreover, the magnitude of correlation for some keywords was higher in states that also implemented PrEP-APs.

Keywords

  • Google Trends
  • HIV
  • HIV prevention
  • Medicaid expansion
  • pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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