Limited Knowledge and Use of HIV Post- And Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Among Gay and Bisexual Men

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JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes


Background: Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is currently recommended after certain high-risk exposures, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is undergoing evaluation in clinical trials. Media reports have suggested substantial levels of community PrEP use despite its unproven effectiveness. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 1819 HIV-uninfected gay/bisexual men in California to assess PEP and PrEP awareness and use. Results: Overall, 47% reported PEP awareness and 4% ever used PEP. Men who were older than 25 years of age (odds ratio [OR] = 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.5 to 3.1), were white (OR = 2.2, 95% CI: 1.6 to 3.0), had an annual income >$100,000 (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.2 to 3.4), self-identified as gay/homosexual (OR = 2.4, 95% CI: 1.4 to 4.3), and had unprotected anal sex (OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.3 to 2.3) or sex under the influence of a drug (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.5 to 2.7) were more likely to be aware of PEP, whereas speed users (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4 to 0.9) were less likely to be aware of PEP. Only 16% reported PrEP awareness, and <1% ever used PrEP. Unprotected anal sex (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1 to 2.3) and sex under the influence of a drug (OR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.0 to 2.2) were associated with PrEP awareness. Conclusions: PEP awareness and use were modest and PrEP use was rare among gay/bisexual men in California. Although PrEP is not currently recommended, community education on the availability of PEP is suggested.