Issue: October 2020
Disclosures: Mansergh reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ related financial disclosures.
September 17, 2020
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More than 10% of MSM on PrEP share it with others

Issue: October 2020
Disclosures: Mansergh reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ related financial disclosures.
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More than 10% of men who have sex with men who use PrEP for HIV prevention reported sharing the medication with others, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

“As PrEP continues to be more commonly used, it is important to better understand and address the context of PrEP sharing, and to emphasize messaging about provider monitoring of medication use over time for health and safety reasons,” Gordon Mansergh, PhD, a senior behavioral scientist in the CDC’s Division of HIV and AIDS Prevention, told Healio.

PrEP sharing infographic
Source: Mansergh G, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16256.

Mansergh and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of responses to a mobile app survey from 755 HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM). Participants were asked whether they were actively taking PrEP to prevent HIV and if they were currently sharing their medication with others.

A total of 32.2% of MSM reported taking PrEP. Among those respondents, 10.7% reported sharing it. Only 5% of the participants reported using on-demand PrEP — before or after sex. MSM aged 30 to 39 years were almost twice as likely than men aged 40 years or older to report current PrEP use (adjusted odds ratio = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.11-2.61).

“Gay and bisexual men should talk to providers about PrEP and determine their eligibility according to CDC clinical guidelines,” Mansergh said. “Once on PrEP medication, adherence and ongoing monitoring by a provider are important to ensure health and safety reasons.”

Mansergh said further analysis of PrEP sharing is warranted. In the article, the researchers said younger and more educated men could particularly benefit from messages about potential consequences from sharing the medication.

“More research is needed to understand the contexts of PrEP sharing, to more directly address the issue,” Mansergh said. “Future research should focus on better understanding the context of sharing PrEP medication, including sharing due to potential access barriers, convenience, cost savings and unawareness of possible consequences.”