PrEP Study Conducted by Sentient Research
Young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM), particularly black and Latino YMSM, are at highest risk for HIV in California and across the United States. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective HIV prevention intervention that could drastically reduce the number of new HIV infections among YMSM. Recent studies have shown PrEP awareness and uptake to be low among at-risk populations in California. If barriers to PrEP use among YMSM are not addressed, the benefits of this HIV prevention strategy will not be fully realized.
Sentient Research was hired in 2015 to conduct an online survey to examine current levels of PrEP awareness and use, likelihood of future use, as well as various attitudes and perceived barriers to PrEP uptake among YMSM in California. YMSM were recruited from July 9, 2015 through August 20, 2015 through banner ads on several popular “hook-up” apps and websites. About 1 in 10 respondents reported having used PrEP. PrEP use was significantly higher among white respondents, older respondents, and those making $30,000 a year or more.
This study offers important insights into PrEP awareness and uptake among YMSM in California. While PrEP awareness and use appear to be increasing among YMSM overall, significant racial/ethnic and age disparities exist. Given the disproportionate impact of HIV among black and Latino YMSM, PrEP implementation efforts must prioritize increasing education and improving access within these communities. This study also identified a number of barriers that may impede PrEP uptake among YMSM including concerns about confidentiality, side-effects, efficacy, and cost.
This study was funded by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program.
The full report is available here.
Study data were further analyzed and published in:
PrEP Uptake, Adherence, and Discontinuation among California YMSM Using Geosocial Networking Applications.
Holloway I, Dougherty R, Gildner J, Beougher SC, Pulsipher C, Montoya JA, Plant A, Leibowitz A. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
See our list of published academic articles.