Thursday, January 27, 2022

HIV prevention treatment is under-utilized among Southern black gay men

The research brief is a brief about interesting academic work.

big idea

The use of antiretroviral treatments to prevent HIV infection – called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP – is very low in high-risk populations with poor access to HIV care, particularly black men in the South who have sex with men. keep. This is the main finding of our new study), which suggests that public health officials will need to reach out to this population further if they hope to end the HIV epidemic by 2030.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of two oral medications for PrEP, Truvada and Descovy, to prevent HIV in high-risk populations — for example, those whose sexual partners are HIV-positive. Both drugs are clinically indicated for use among gay men.

Widespread adoption of these treatments is an important component of the United States’ strategy to end the domestic HIV epidemic by 2030. Numerous clinical trials have proven that these treatments are safe and highly effective in preventing people from becoming HIV positive if used appropriately.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV from sex by about 99%.

Our study found several barriers to PrEP use among Southern black gay men. They include stigma, homophobia, poverty, access and transportation issues, mistrust of the medical system, negative attitudes from health care providers, and misinformation about PrEP.

Our review and conclusions were based on an assessment of existing research and data on this population. This includes epidemiological data from organizations such as the CDC.

We concluded that programs need to be structured in a way that effectively addresses the various concerns and various barriers these men experience as well as to encourage greater PrEP use among these men.

why it matters

Widespread use of PrEP has been prioritized in the national plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. Of the seven states identified as key to the success of the scheme, six are in the south.

According to a recent CDC HIV Surveillance Report, having sex with men in South America is responsible for more than half of all new HIV diagnoses, including 69% of new national HIV diagnoses, including the rate of black gay men. is more.

Another CDC study shows that half of black gay men in the US will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.

Almost all insurers must cover 100% of PrEP treatment, which is designated as an essential preventive treatment under the Affordable Care Act. Still, the nationwide HIV infection rate among black and Latino gay and bisexual men has remained the same for the past 10 years, according to the CDC.

These facts point to the need for rigorous research and PrEP promotion and awareness among these black men and other underserved populations.

what is still not known

CDC surveillance data from 2015 shows that of the estimated 1.1 million adults who would benefit from PrEP use, 71% were gay men. However, there are no publicly available or coordinated statewide or regional data to measure PrEP among eligible adults.

This is especially true in southern states that are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic.

In our review, we also noted a lack of interdisciplinary scientific research exploring the complex interactions among the many barriers to sexual health care by Southern black gay men.

what will happen next

To dig deeper into the issues identified in our review, we hope to collect data on PrEP use among black gay men in South Carolina, where we are located, and other Southern states.

Our long-term goal is to collaborate with these men to develop, implement and evaluate culturally acceptable HIV prevention interventions to reduce the incidence of HIV in the community.

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This article is republished from – The Conversation – Read the – original article.

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