Australian gay men who have taken non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV (PEP) are in need of effective HIV prevention methods.

Published: August 18, 2011

Abstract
BACKGROUND:

Gay men who request non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may seek pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) should this become available. We explored trends and predictors of PEP use among Australian gay men to inform future biomedical preventi on programs.
METHODS:

We used 2001-2010 data from Gay Community Periodic Surveys in three Eastern Australian, states and assessed PEP awareness and use in the six months before each survey, and among HIVuninfected, men in all surveys predictors of PEP use. Analytical methods included chi-square test for, trend and multivariate log-binomial estimation of associations.
RESULTS:

The awareness of PEP significantly increased from 23% in 2001 to 64% in 2010. PEP use also, increased from 2.3% to 3.9%, respectively. PEP use was significantly associated with being in a regular, relationship with an HIV-serodiscordant partner, higher number of sex partners, engaging in anal, intercourse with casual partners and regularly testing for HIV/STI. However, fewer than 8% of men, who engaged in these practices reported PEP use.
CONCLUSION:

Our findings highlight the profiles of current PEP users: men in HIV-serodiscordant, relationships and men having high numbers of casual partners and unprotected anal intercourse with them. These men are in need of effective HIV prevention strategies and may be receptive to PrEP in the future. Presently, targeted HIV education to improve risk assessment skills may prevent some seroconversions through the appropriate use of PEP.Keywords: HIV, non-occupational exposure, sexual practices, HIV prevention, post-exposure, prophylaxis, pre-exposure prophylaxis.

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