Background: The US FDA approved Truvada as PrEP in July 2012. PrEP offers an important prevention option for men who have sex with men, who are disproportionately impacted by HIV. New York City has recorded more HIV cases among MSM than any other city in the country. Harlem United Community AIDS Center launched an online survey among MSM in to assess attitudes and acceptability of PrEP with the goal of informing a future awareness campaign.
Methods: A 30-question Survey Monkey-survey was launched on two online, male “hookup” sites during a four-week period in August 2013: Grindr and BGCLive.com. It was targeted to all MSM and transgender women on the respective sites who lived in one of the five boroughs of New York City and reported at least one instance of anal sex in the past 12 months.
Results: The survey yielded 1,946 total respondents, with 1,238 completes. Less than half of survey respondents report having heard of taking the drug Truvada for HIV prevention. Seventy-nine percent of respondents (n=1,500) would recommend PrEP to a friend or partner. Fifty-seven percent of respondents would consider taking PrEP themselves. Regression analysis revealed that respondents are more likely to use PrEP if they have an HIV+ partner. Awareness of PrEP was positively correlated with education. Quantitative and qualitative data was also collected on respondents’ HIV status, sexual risk behaviors, where they had previously heard about PrEP, and the most important motivators and barriers to using PrEP for prevention.
Conclusions: Awareness of PrEP still is limited. There exists a subgroup of MSM for whom PrEP may be a viable preventive option, including those with positive partners. Communities and localities will need to invest in interventions that will ensure access and awareness of PrEP and support HIV prevention among high-risk MSM.