Daily pre-exposure prophylaxis and event-driven pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are efficacious in reducing HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM). We analyzed baseline data from a PrEP demonstration project “Be-PrEP-ared” in Antwerp, Belgium, to understand preferences for daily PrEP or event-driven PrEP among MSM at high risk of HIV and factors influencing their initial choice.
Cross-sectional data from an open-label prospective cohort study, using mixed methods. Participants who preregistered online were screened for eligibility and tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Eligible participants chose between daily PrEP and event-driven PrEP and reported on behavioral data through an electronic questionnaire. In-depth interviews were conducted with a selected subsample. Bivariate associations were examined between preferred PrEP regimens and sociodemographic factors, sexual behavior, and STIs at screening.
In total, 200 participants were enrolled between October 2015 and December 2016. Self-reported levels of sexual risk-taking before enrollment were high. STI screening revealed that 39.5% had at least 1 bacterial STI. At baseline, 76.5% of participants preferred daily PrEP and 23.5% event-driven PrEP. Feeling able to anticipate HIV risk was the most frequent reason for preferring event-driven PrEP. Regimen choice was associated with sexual risk-taking behavior in the past 3 months. Almost all participants (95.7%) considered it likely that they would change their dosing regimen the following year.
Event-driven PrEP was preferred by 23.5% of the participants, which better suits their preventive needs. Event-driven PrEP should be included in PrEP provision as a valuable alternative to daily PrEP for MSM at high risk of HIV.
*Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium;
†Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; and
‡Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.
Correspondence to: Thijs Reyniers, PhD, Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Supported by a grant obtained from the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Gilead Sciences donated the drugs (Truvada) for the study.
The study medication of Be-PrEP-ared was donated by Gilead Sciences.
Members of the Be-PrEP-ared study team are listed in the Appendix 1.
Received March 16, 2018
Accepted June 18, 2018