Online Program

PrEP Uptake in a Community Sample of MSM in Chicago

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Ramona Bhatia, MD, Division of STI/HIV, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Amanda Koch, BS, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Edgar Gutierrez, Office of HIV/AIDS Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Research, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Nikhil Prachand, MPH, Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Background: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)  is recommended for high-risk men who have sex with men (MSM). Actual uptake of PrEP is poorly understood. We describe PrEP uptake and barriers in a community-dwelling sample of MSM in Chicago, IL.

Methods: We used cross-sectional survey data obtained as part of the CDC-funded National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) of adult MSM without known HIV infection, who were recruited through venue-based sampling from August-December 2014. Descriptive statistics were used for analyses.

Results: Of 173 MSM who completed the local NHBS survey, 75% (130) heard of taking medicines to prevent HIV, though few (14%, 18/130) had a current PrEP prescription. Of those with a prescription, the majority had filled it in the past 30 days (83%, 15/18) and utilized insurance to help pay for PrEP (83%, 15/18). Some (28%, 5/18) used a drug program to help pay for PrEP, but none paid out-of-pocket.  MSM on PrEP did not miss any doses (88%, 14/16) or missed doses once a week or less (12%, 2/16).  Of the 112 MSM who heard of taking medicines to prevent HIV but did not have a current PrEP prescription, few (8%, 9) endorsed financial barriers to obtaining PrEP.

Conclusions: In this community sample of MSM, PrEP knowledge was high, though PrEP uptake was low. The majority of MSM with a prescription reported optimal adherence and utilized insurance to pay for PrEP. Financial obstacles were uncommon amongst those not on PrEP, suggesting other barriers may be impeding PrEP uptake in Chicago’s MSM.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe PrEP uptake in a community sample of MSM in Chicago. List major ways MSM on PrEP pay for their medication.

Keyword(s): HIV Interventions, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an infectious diseases physician with a background in HIV clinical research and health disparities in vulnerable persons. I led project development and assisted with data interpretation. I drafted the abstract text.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.