20th International AIDS Conference - Melbourne, Australia


WEPE359 - Poster Exhibition

Awareness and uptake of PrEP among a cohort of US Black men who have sex with men

L. Eaton, D. Driffin

University of Connecticut, Storrs, United States

Background: The rate of HIV/STI infections among US Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) is alarming and on the rise. The need for effective strategies to curb these epidemics is a public health priority. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a viable and efficacious option for individuals at risk for HIV infection. However, little is known about PrEP awareness and use among BMSM.
Methods: We used active, in-field recruitment strategies to enroll 482 Black MSM in a US cohort study. Men were enrolled if they reported unprotected anal sex in the past year, were 18 years of age or older, and reported being HIV negative/untested/unknown. We used descriptive statistics and generalized linear modeling to assess PrEP characteristics among this sample.
Results: Study enrollment began in December 2011 and is ongoing. In July 2012, the US FDA approved the use of an anti-retroviral for HIV prevention. Two percent of the sample had ever used PrEP, and 1% were taking PrEP. Twenty-two percent of the sample had heard of PrEP. In modeling analyses we note no relationship between awareness of PrEP as a HIV prevention strategy and time period of study, OR=.98, 95%CI .83-1.15. During study enrollment, seventy (14.5%) BMSM tested HIV positive, of these men 23% had heard of PrEP. Eighty-one percent of the sample would use PrEP if provided the option to do so.
Conclusions: Greater efforts need to be made to engage BMSM who may be candidates for PrEP. Our research demonstrates that messages about the availability of PrEP are not reaching this population. The lack of uptake of PrEP among BMSM is a missed opportunity for prevention for this most at-need population.

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