The bad news: Boston survey finds awareness about PrEP poor among MSM The good news: MSM likely to use PrEP and microbicides for prevention

Published: May 25, 2010

The bad news: Boston survey finds awareness about PrEP poor among MSM The good news: MSM likely to use PrEP and microbicides for prevention

Despite being representative of one of the highest at-risk populations for HIV, a large number of HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) surveyed as part of a study had never heard of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs by HIV-negative individuals for preventing HIV. PrEP is being evaluated in several trials in different at-risk populations, including MSM. The study, which was conducted in the Boston area, involved 105 MSM who reported having unprotected receptive anal intercourse at least once in the prior year with a partner they knew was HIV positive or didn’t know for sure whether or not they were infected. The participants had been enrolled in a study to determine the acceptability of rectally administered placebo gels and suppositories. The survey was conducted at the time of enrollment to help understand the demographic and behavioral factors that may increase men’s likelihood for using a microbicide or oral PrEP, reported Kenneth Mayer, M.D., of the Fenway Institute in Boston and Brown University in Providence, R.I. The average participant’s age was 39; 70.5 percent had at least a high school education; 24 percent were African-American and 8.6 percent were Latino. Participants reported having an average of more than four sex partners in the two months prior to their enrolling in the study.

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