VANCOUVER — Providing access to PrEP in youth-friendly settings with tailored adherence support and augmented visit schedules may help to maximize the effect of this prevention approach, according to a study presented at the International AIDS Society Conference held here this week,
This open-label study examined PrEP uptake and adherence, as well as sexual risk behaviour, among a diverse (54.5% Black, 26.5% Latino) group of young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in 12 U.S. cities.
Sybil Hosek of Stroger Hospital, in Cook County. Illinois, and colleagues reported that initial PrEP uptake in the cohort was high, with the majority of participants (56%) achieving protective drug levels in their first monthly study visit (week 4).
As visits decreased in frequency (occurring monthly through week 12, then quarterly through week 48), so did adherence, with 34% of participants showing blood levels consistent with ≥4 PrEP pills per week by week 48.
Condomless sex was reported by >80% of participants throughout the study, but condomless anal sex with last partner was also associated with higher PrEP drug levels, indicating that those at highest risk for HIV were also adhering to PrEP.
“The science on PrEP is overwhelming and its conclusions are clear: PrEP works when taken,” Chris Beyrer, IAS 2015 International Chair and International AIDS Society President said in a press release about this study and others examining PrEP. “Access to PrEP is now a public health and human rights imperative.”
1. Hosek S, et al. Abstract: An HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) demonstration project and safety study for young men who have sex with men in the United States (ATN 110) Presented at: .International AIDS Society Conference, 2015. July 19-22, 2015. Vancouver