Awareness of, usage of and willingness to use HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among men in downtown Toronto, Canada.

Published: December 1, 2011

Abstract

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a promising strategy whereby HIV-uninfected people could take antiretroviral (ARV) medications to reduce their risk of HIV acquisition. Reports suggest that unsupervised PrEP use has been occurring in gay communities of USA cities before human safety and efficacy data became available. We administered a 20-item questionnaire to men undergoing HIV testing at Hassle Free Clinic, a sexual health clinic in the gay village of Toronto. Questionnaire items enquired about demographics, sexual partners, substance use and awareness of, usage of and willingness to use PrEP. Logistic regression was used to identify characteristics associated with PrEP-related outcomes. Of 256 participants, 11.7% were aware of PrEP, with more men who have sex with men (MSM) aware (14.1%) than non-MSM (4.9%). No participants reported PrEP usage. Willingness to consider PrEP use was high and associated with high-risk activities, suggesting opportunities for PrEP use in the future.

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