Article

Awareness of post-exposure HIV prophylaxis in high-risk men who have sex with men in New York City

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, NewYork University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.
Sexually transmitted infections (Impact Factor: 3.08). 02/2011; 87(4):344-8. DOI: 10.1136/sti.2010.046284
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To understand the factors associated with knowledge of non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), bathhouse patrons in New York City (NYC) were surveyed.
554 men who have sex with men (MSM) at two NYC bathhouses were given a standardised survey focused on nPEP and PrEP at the time of HIV testing.
In the previous 90 days, 63% of respondents reported unprotected sex with a male partner and 7% reported any sex with a known HIV-positive male partner. Less than half reported having a primary provider (primary care practitioner) who was aware of their MSM behaviour. 201 men (36%) were aware of nPEP or PrEP. In univariate analyses, race/ethnicity, previous HIV testing, gay self-identification, higher education level, having a primary provider aware of MSM behaviour, reported interaction with the healthcare system, use of the internet for meeting sex partners, reporting unprotected sex in the previous 90 days, reporting any sex with an HIV-positive male partner in the previous 90 days and having a higher number of sex partners were each significantly associated with being aware of nPEP or PrEP. In multivariate analysis, having a higher number of sex partners was significantly associated (OR 5.10, p=0.02) with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)/PrEP knowledge and disclosure to a primary care provider was also associated, although less robustly (OR 2.10, p=0.06).
Knowledge of nPEP or PrEP among sexually active MSM in NYC is low and is associated with having a primary provider aware of their patient's same-sex behaviours. These findings show the need for improving education about nPEP among high-risk MSM in NYC and the role of providers in these efforts.

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    • "Sources for meeting partners have often been the subject of inquiry for their potential roles in HIV and STI transmission risk behaviors (Smith, 2010). Though not an exhaustive list, these include bathhouses (Mehta et al., 2011; Mullens, Staunton, Debattista, Hamernik, & Gill, 2009; Richters, 2007), gay bars/clubs (Blank, Gallagher, Washburn, & Rogers, 2005; Grov, 2012; Grov, Golub, & Parsons, 2010; Grov et al., 2007), sex parties (Grov et al., 2010; Halkitis & Palamar, 2006; Mimiaga et al., 2010; Mimiaga et al., 2011; Solomon et al., 2011), and partners met through friends (O'Leary, Horvath, & Simon Rosser, 2013). What is clear from research is that there is significant variability in the extent to which MSM use a given source; however, more research is needed to examine utilization across a variety of sources within individuals to examine source favoritism (i.e., loyalty) versus varied usage, and how this may be associated with HIV risk behavior such as unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) (Grov & Crow, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: With limited exceptions, few studies have systematically reported on psychosocial and demographic characteristic differences in samples of men who have sex with men (MSM) based on where they were recruited. This study compared three sexually active cohorts of MSM recruited via Craigslist.org (recruited via modified time-space sampling), gay bars and clubs (recruited via time-space sampling), and private sex parties (identified via passive recruitment and listserves), finding mixed results with regard to differences in demographic characteristics, STI history, and psychosocial measures. Men recruited from sex parties were significantly older, reported more symptoms of sexual compulsivity, more likely to be HIV-positive, more likely to report a history of STIs, and more likely to self-identify as a barebacker, than men recruited from the other two venues. In contrast, men from Craigslist.org reported the lowest levels of attachment to the gay and bisexual community and were the least likely to self-identify as gay. Men from bars and clubs were significantly younger, and were more likely to report use of hallucinogens and crack or cocaine. Our findings highlight that the venues in which MSM are recruited have meaningful consequences in terms of the types of individuals who are reached.
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    ABSTRACT: Background In May 2005, the Western Australian Department of Health (WA Health) developed a communication strategy to improve the awareness and appropriate use of non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) in WA. The communication strategy included the development of an nPEP information pamphlet, the establishment of a 24 hour nPEP phone line and the distribution of the WA Health nPEP guidelines to health professionals. The communication strategy was aimed at gay men, people in sero-discordant relationships, people living with HIV, injecting drug users and health care providers with patients from these populations. This evaluation aimed to assess the awareness and appropriate use of nPEP in WA before and after the commencement of the nPEP communication strategy. Methods A program logic method was used to identify the immediate (short-term) and ultimate (long-term) outcomes of the communication strategy. The achievement of these outcomes was evaluated using data from website statistics, a survey of ‘sexuality sensitive’ doctors, statistics published in Perth Gay Community Periodic Surveys (PGCPS) and data from the WA nPEP database. A χ2 test for trend was conducted to identify any significant changes in the ultimate outcome indicators pre- and post-strategy. Results nPEP awareness among gay men in the PGCPS initially increased from 17.2% in 2002 to 54.9% in 2008, then decreased to 39.9% in 2010. After the commencement of the communication strategy, the proportion of nPEP prescriptions meeting the eligibility criteria for nPEP significantly increased (61.2% in 2002-2005 to 90.0% in 2008-2010 (p < .001)). The proportion of nPEP recipients who completed the prescribed course of nPEP (46.6% in 2002-2005 to 66.9% in 2008-2010 (p = .003)) and the proportion who received a post-nPEP HIV test three to four months after the first visit for nPEP (38.8% in 2002-2005 to 51.9% in 2008-2010 (p = .023)) also increased. Conclusions Since the introduction of the nPEP communication strategy, the delivery and appropriate use of nPEP have significantly improved in WA. In the 2008-2010 period, an improvement in HIV testing of nPEP recipients at three month follow-up was reported for the first time in WA. However, there is a need for ongoing activities to raise nPEP awareness among gay men.
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