Why Fewer At-Risk Men Take HIV PrEP
A study looking at PrEP population obstacles shows men who have sex with men are more likely to not seek out information nor access to prophylaxis.
Various factors including limited knowledge and education, including stigma surrounding the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has resulted in one of the greatest HIV-risk populations—men who have sex with men (MSM)—being slower to seek out and use the routine preventive therapy.
In a new assessment of the PrEP Obstacles Scale presented at the International AIDS Society (IAS) AIDS 2020 Virtual Sessions this week, a team of investigators showed the 20-item scale can provide very reliable estimates of MSM’s PrEP perceptions based on race, sexual orientation, educational attainment, relationship status, age, and HIV serostatus.
The hope is now that these preliminary findings from the pilot study can establish actionable strategies that addresses the perceived hurdles of these group as PrEP enters its second decade of establish preventive care for the once-epidemic.
But what exactly are the roots of MSM inadherence—or ignorance to—prophylaxis?
In an interview with Contagion® as part of AIDS 2020 coverage, study author Hugh Klein, PhD, of the Kensington Research Institute, discussed the details of the study and the obstacles scale, and what it informs researchers about MSM’s perception of PrEP—and where that’s coming from.
“They wanted to go to people they knew or trusted, or places like the internet where they could look around in private,” Klein explained. “But there’s some questions there, because you don’t know what you can or can’t believe, or what sources you can trust, when you find it off the internet.”