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Assessing the need for a pre-exposure prophylaxis programme using the social media app Grindr®


Hampel, Benjamin; Kusejko, K; Braun, D L; Harrison-Quintana, J; Kouyos, Roger; Fehr, J (2017). Assessing the need for a pre-exposure prophylaxis programme using the social media app Grindr®. HIV Medicine, 18(10):772-776.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not approved in Switzerland and therefore must be paid for by the users themselves. We conducted a survey to find out whether men who have sex with men (MSM) in Switzerland are already taking PrEP, or are considering using it, and whether it is being taken under medical supervision or not.
METHODS: Grindr® is a geosocial networking app for MSM. Between 5 and 24 January 2017, users of the app who were located in Switzerland by a global positioning system (GPS) were asked to participate in a ten-question survey on PrEP use.
RESULTS: Of the 2455 people who took part in the survey, 1893 were included in the analysis. Eighty-two participants (4.3%) reported that they were currently taking PrEP, 64 of whom (78%) said that they were under medical supervision. Seven PrEP users (9%) declared that they had not taken an HIV test within the previous 12 months. Nine hundred and forty-four (49.9%) were considering taking PrEP in the next 6 months, and 1474 (77.9%) were considering taking it at some point in the future.
CONCLUSIONS: In an online survey carried out among sexually active MSM in Switzerland, only a minority of the individuals approached responded that they were currently using PrEP. However, the majority of participants were considering taking PrEP in the future. We identified a substantial proportion of PrEP users taking PrEP outside a medical setting. Hence, a national programme facilitating access to medical care and providing PrEP is urgently needed.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not approved in Switzerland and therefore must be paid for by the users themselves. We conducted a survey to find out whether men who have sex with men (MSM) in Switzerland are already taking PrEP, or are considering using it, and whether it is being taken under medical supervision or not.
METHODS: Grindr® is a geosocial networking app for MSM. Between 5 and 24 January 2017, users of the app who were located in Switzerland by a global positioning system (GPS) were asked to participate in a ten-question survey on PrEP use.
RESULTS: Of the 2455 people who took part in the survey, 1893 were included in the analysis. Eighty-two participants (4.3%) reported that they were currently taking PrEP, 64 of whom (78%) said that they were under medical supervision. Seven PrEP users (9%) declared that they had not taken an HIV test within the previous 12 months. Nine hundred and forty-four (49.9%) were considering taking PrEP in the next 6 months, and 1474 (77.9%) were considering taking it at some point in the future.
CONCLUSIONS: In an online survey carried out among sexually active MSM in Switzerland, only a minority of the individuals approached responded that they were currently using PrEP. However, the majority of participants were considering taking PrEP in the future. We identified a substantial proportion of PrEP users taking PrEP outside a medical setting. Hence, a national programme facilitating access to medical care and providing PrEP is urgently needed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Virology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Infectious Diseases
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Switzerland, men who have sex with men, pre-exposure prophylaxis, social media
Language:English
Date:November 2017
Deposited On:04 Dec 2017 18:15
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 09:29
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1464-2662
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/hiv.12521
PubMed ID:28544123

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