Study finds PrEP under-prescribed

April 8, 2016

Out of a pool of more than 1,000 gay and bisexual men, a new UK study found that only 83 — fewer than one in 10 — reported PrEP use, Reuters reports.

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, Reuters reports.

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 told Reuters.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has guidelines to help health care 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.

The findings are from One Thousand Strong, a three-year observational study of a U.S. national sample of gay and bisexual men ages 18 to 80 that is now underway, Reuters reports.

Originally published by WashingtonBlade.com