How do we increase HIV PrEP uptake? “I think the biggest takeaway here is that people need options,” said Travis Sanchez, DVM, MPH.
The best HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the one that people will use.
HIV PrEP is over 99% effective when used properly and regularly. At the recent IDWeek conference, Travis Sanchez, DVM, MPH, discussed the challenges of encouraging at-risk populations to take PrEP.
“We’re seeing steady increases in daily usage, but we’re still not at optimal uptake,” Sanchez said. Additionally, taking a daily pill may not be feasible for all people. Fortunately, however, recent approvals of injectable PrEP have expanded HIV prevention options.
“We knew that these other PrEP modes were coming to market, and so we wanted to explore how those could potentially fill some of the gap in the PrEP uptake that we’ve been seeing,” explained Sanchez.
In response to these new forms of PrEP, Sanchez and his team researched the HIV PrEP preferences among US men who have sex with men.
“When we presented different PrEP options, individually, around half of people who weren’t currently using daily oral PrEP said that they would be willing to start something,” Sanchez said, “which is actually higher than what we typically would see with other types of willingness research.”
The investigators found that among the participants who said they would be interested in multiple forms of PrEP, “The new long-acting injectable PrEP, cabotegravir PrEP, was the preferred option.” Sanchez said that among people not currently using PrEP, injectable PrEP was preferred over daily and on-demand PrEP.
“I think the biggest takeaway here is that people need options,” Sanchez concluded.
Sanchez presented this study, “Relative patient preferences for starting daily, on-demand, and long-acting injectable HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among US men who have sex with men, 2021-2022,” at the IDWeek 2022 conference, held October 19-23 in Washington, D.C.