Background Men who have sex with men (MSM) remain most at risk of acquiring HIV in the UK. While biomedical prevention methods, such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), present new prevention opportunities, questions remain over their acceptability and fit with existing prevention strategies and HIV risk management, including regular HIV testing. Here, we investigate the HIV testing behaviours and willingness to use PrEP among MSM in the UK.
Methods Cross-sectional surveys of HIV-negative MSM in gay social venues in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London in 2011 (N = 2222).
Results 53.2% (1177/2214) of participants had had an HIV test in the previous 12 months and 29.6% (642/2167) reported 4+ named HIV tests in the last two years. 48.2% (1070/2221) reported that their most recent HIV test was a regular test or sexual health check. Among men at higher risk of HIV infection (reporting unprotected anal intercourse [UAI] with multiple, casual or unknown/discordant partners), 40.2% (343/854) reported regular testing. Half of all participants would be willing to take PrEP on a daily basis (52.3%, 1133/2166). In all three cities, willingness to take PrEP was associated with younger age and higher levels of sexual risk behaviour (UAI with multiple, casual or unknown/discordant partners in Edinburgh and Glasgow and UAI with casual partners in London), but with testing for HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the previous 12 months in Edinburgh and Glasgow only.
Conclusion PrEP could provide a new method of biomedical HIV prevention for men at high risk of acquiring infection, and there is a willingness to engage with this among MSM in the UK. However, this would require a level of frequent HIV testing beyond that currently reported by men at high risk. The potentially complex relationship between sexual risk behaviour, HIV testing, and PrEP use requires further research.
- men who have sex with men
- prevention KL01,
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