Out of more than 1,000 gay and bisexual men surveyed, only 83, or fewer than one in 10, reported that they use HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
But 42 percent of those who do use it said they had not skipped a single dose in the previous 90 days, and only 6 percent had skipped more than two doses per week, the investigators reported at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in Washington, DC.
The lesson for care providers is that men are willing and able to take a daily pill, so it is important to talk to those who could benefit and increase prescription rates, study leader Jeffrey Parsons, a professor of psychology at Hunter College, City University of New York, told Reuters Health by email.
“The majority of gay men who are . . . good candidates for PrEP are not on the medication, and many haven’t spoken to their medical providers about PrEP. We need to get conversations going, and in general promote more open dialogue between doctors and patients regarding sexual health,” Parsons said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has guidelines to help healthcare providers determine who is an appropriate candidate for PrEP with safer sex practices and Truvada, a pill made by Gilead that contains the antiviral drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir.