Sex frequency and sex planning among MSM in Bangkok, Thailand: implications for pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis against HIV infection
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Daily HIV antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is being evaluated in clinical trials among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, daily PrEP may not be congruent with sexual exposure profiles of MSM. Here, we investigate sex frequency and sex planning to identify and inform appropriate PrEP strategies for MSM.
We evaluated sex frequency and sex planning in a cohort of HIV-negative MSM in Bangkok, Thailand. Chi-squared test was used to compare reports of sex on different weekdays; logistic regression was used to identify predictors of sex frequency and sex planning.
Of 823 MSM (with a mean age of 28.3 years), 86% reported having sex on two days per week or less, and 65% reported their last sex to have been planned. Sex on the weekend (~30%) was more often reported than sex on weekdays (~23%). In multivariate analysis, use of alcohol, erectile dysfunction drugs, group sex, sex with a foreigner, buying and selling sex, and a history of HIV testing were associated with having sex on three days or more per week. Being aged 22 to 29 years, not identifying as homosexual, having receptive anal intercourse, and not engaging in group sex were associated with unplanned sex.
Intermittently dosed PrEP (as opposed to daily) may be a feasible HIV prevention strategy and should be considered for evaluation in clinical trials. Risk factors for sex frequency and sex planning may help to identify those in need for daily PrEP and those who may not be able to take a timely pre-exposure dose.