Post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV infection in gay and bisexual men

Implications for the future of HIV prevention
  • SethC. Kalichman
    Address correspondence to: Seth C. Kalichman, Center for AIDS Intervention Research (CAIR), Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226
    Center for AIDS Intervention Research (CAIR), Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226 USA

    Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30303 USA
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      Objective: To assess the psychological and behavioral characteristics of gay and bisexual men who intend to use antiretroviral post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV infection.
      Methods: Gay and bisexual men who had not tested HIV seropositive and were not in long-term exclusive sexual relationships (n = 327) completed anonymous surveys consisting of demographic characteristics, gay community acculturation, experience with and attitudes toward PEP, substance use, and sexual behavior in the past 6 months.
      Setting: A large annual Gay Pride festival in Atlanta, Georgia.
      Results: There were 8 (3%) men who had already used PEP and 85 (26%) who planned to use PEP to prevent themselves from becoming HIV infected. Compared to the 242 (74%) men who did not indicate plans to use PEP, those planning to use PEP were younger, less well educated, more likely to have used illicit substances in the past 6 months, and were more likely to have a history of injection drug use. Men intending to use PEP were also more likely to have practiced unprotected anal and oral intercourse as the receptive partner and were more likely to have multiple anal intercourse partners with whom they were receptive.
      Conclusions: Gay and bisexual men are generally supportive of the immediate use of PEP and a significant number of men are planning to use PEP, particularly less educated men who use multiple substances and practice the highest-risk sexual behaviors. Concurrent behavioral interventions must, therefore, be considered critical in the advancement of PEP.


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