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Considerable interest in pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake among men who have sex with men recruited from a popular geosocial-networking smartphone application in London.

Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) who use smartphone applications (apps) to meet sexual partners represent a high-risk subset of MSM. As such, the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) may be highly suitable. The purpose of the study was to evaluate awareness of and willingness to use PrEP among 179 HIV-uninfected MSM recruited in London who use these apps. Regression models were fit to assess the associations between perceived barriers and willingness to use PrEP in the future. Most (84.9%) had heard of PrEP and more than half (57.1%) were willing to use PrEP in the future if it were to become available. Low perceived risk for acquiring HIV (prevalence ratio (PR): 0.11; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.04, 0.33) and concerns about PrEP-related side effects (PR: 0.01; 95% CI: 0.00, 0.04) were associated with being unwilling to use PrEP. Efforts to make PrEP widely available should be continued. Uptake interventions should focus on correcting self-perceptions of HIV risk and educate MSM about the potential side effects of PrEP use so that MSM can make more informed decisions about prevention options.

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