The impact of PrEP on the sex lives of MSM at high risk for HIV infection: results of a Belgian cohort

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Abstract

There is a need for an in-depth understanding of the impact of PrEP on users' sexual health and behaviour, beyond the focus on 'risk'. This mixed-method study was part of a Belgian PrEP demonstration project following 200 men who have sex with men (MSM) for at least 18 months. Taking a grounded-theory approach, 22 participants were interviewed and their transcripts analysed. The preliminary analysis guided the analysis of the questionnaire data. Overall, PrEP improved sexual health. Participants felt better protected against HIV, which enabled them to change their sexual behaviour. The reduction in condom use was moderated by interviewees' attitudes towards the risk for other STIs. Other changes included having more anal sex and experimentation with new sexual behaviours. While PrEP empowers MSM in taking care of their sexual health, comprehensive sexual health counselling is crucial to provide care for users who feel less in control over their sexual health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Volume25
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)532-541
Number of pages10
ISSN1090-7165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use
  • Belgium/epidemiology
  • HIV Infections/drug therapy
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities

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