PrEP Awareness and Perceived Barriers Among Single Young Men who have Sex with Men
Jose A. Bauermeister, Steven Meanley, Emily Pingel, Jorge H. Soler and Gary W. Harper
Affiliation: University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1415 Washington Heights, SPH I, Room 3822, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA.
Keywords: Access, barriers, biomedical, HIV, MSM, prevention.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has the potential to help reduce new HIV infections among young men who
have sex with men (YMSM). Using a cross-sectional survey of YMSM (N=1,507; ages 18-24), we gauged YMSM’s PrEP
awareness and PrEP-related beliefs regarding side effects, accessibility, and affordability. Overall, 27% of the sample had
heard about PrEP; 1% reported ever using PrEP prior to sex. In a multivariate logistic regression, we found that YMSM
were more likely to have heard about PrEP if they were older, more educated, were residentially unstable in the prior 30
days, had insurance, or reported having at least one sexually transmitted infection in their lifetime. We found no
differences by race/ethnicity, history of incarceration, or recent sexual risk behavior. In multivariate linear regression
models, Black and Latino YMSM were more likely than Whites to state they would not use PrEP because of side effect
concerns. YMSM were more likely to indicate that they would not be able to afford PrEP if they did not have insurance or
if they had a prior sexually transmitted infection, PrEP rollout may be hindered due to lack of awareness, as well as
perceived barriers regarding its use. We propose strategies to maximize equity in PrEP awareness and access if it is to be
scaled up among YMSM.
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