White men who have sex with men (MSM) are significantly more likely to know about, discuss with their provider, and use PrEP than are MSM of color, a U.S. study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed.
Researchers analyzed 2017 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) data on 4,056 HIV-negative MSM in 23 urban areas who likely met PrEP indications. Fewer Latinos and African American men were part of each step of the PrEP continuum identified by the researchers: awareness (95% of whites, 87% of Latinos, 86% of African Americans), discussion with health care provider (58%, 44%, 43%, respectively) and use (42%, 30%, 26%). (In addition, as we reported last week, once started on PrEP, African Americans are more likely to discontinue it.)
The demographic disparities in provider-patient discussions of PrEP may be related to both provider assumptions about patients of color and patients' distrust of the medical system, study authors hypothesized. "To expand PrEP use, interventions to increase PrEP awareness, encourage health care providers to discuss PrEP, destigmatize PrEP use, and promote racial/ethnic equity in PrEP access are needed," they recommended.