Young Gay Men of Color Find PrEP Acceptable, but Struggle With Adherence

Young gay men of color are a group at highest risk for HIV in the U.S. If current trends continue, half of Black and a quarter of Latino men who have sex with men will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control. PrEP, a highly effective biomedical HIV prevention strategy, may benefit young gay men of color -- but only if it's accessibly, acceptable, and taken up and used.

"Sexual health can be so secretive," said Terrance Wilder, who coordinates DREAAM, a program for young gay men of color at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "And that will always be a barrier for PrEP unless we break through. People may not want to talk about their HIV status. Or the fact that they had sex last night. They gave oral sex but they're ashamed to say that they sucked a penis. If we can talk about sprained ankles -- we should be able to talk about HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia."

A recent study, published this month in JAIDS by Sybil Hosek, Ph.D., and colleagues, gives insight into the challenges of PrEP uptake by young gay men of color. The study (ATN 110), was a phase II safety study of PrEP use among young men who have sex with men between the ages of 18 and 22 in 12 urban U.S. cities.

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