PrEP among MSM in the Netherlands: attitudes, intentions, modes of acquisition and sexual risk taking

PrEP among MSM in the Netherlands: attitudes, intentions, modes of acquisition and sexual risk taking

Project

PrEP as a form of a biomedical intervention to reduce HIV infections is formally not yet available in the Netherlands, besides a trial executed by the H-Team in Amsterdam. Still PrEP has already become part of a discourse amongst MSM, and to an unknown degree also has been incorporated in sexual risk taking behavior. While PrEP is an issue for the general MSM population, internationally mobile MSM, defined as MSM attending circuit parties in the Netherlands and worldwide, have the highest likelihood of exposure to PrEP (either based on local availability e.g. in the US or Thailand, or by sexual partners on PrEP). The project aims to investigate PrEP-use attitudes and intentions among MSM, and associated sexual risk taking effects (for example use of condoms, but also risk taking strategies when having sex with PrEP-users while not being on PrEP oneself). Furthermore, given the lack of availability in the Netherlands, we investigate if and to what degree MSM are using Truvada® obtained from other PLHIV for their own intermittent PrEP. In sum, this project will map PrEP use intentions and existing unlicensed PrEP-use in the Netherlands and provide important psycho-social information highly relevant for current and future biomedical interventions.

Project details

Time frame
31 October 2016 - 31 October 2020
Budget
€ 188,355
Active in
Netherlands

Objectives

The aim of the project is to map attitudes and usage intentions, as well as existing use of PrEP among MSM, and associated sexual risk taking in the Netherlands. Results can inform tailored interventions among high-risk groups.
Research questions:
1. What are the attitudes and usage intentions of MSM for PrEP in the Netherlands? So far we do only have limited and older data available. Larger representative data is still missing.
2. Does PrEP stigma provide a hurdle for PrEP use?
There is evidence that stigma related to using PrEP, “Truvada sluts”, can prevent MSM from making use of PrEP. Data on this is not yet
available in the Netherlands.
3. How do PrEP users influence sexual risk taking of non-PrEP users? Presumed characteristics of one’s sex partners influence own risk taking. Still those processes need to be uncovered for the context of
biomedical interventions such as PrEP.
4. How do high-risk MSM obtain PrEP prior to official licensing in the Netherlands? Given limited/no availability MSM are using alternative, semi-legal strategies to obtain PrEP. To tailor prevention we need to know more about this phenomenon.
Output: dataset for policy/ PrEPcampaigns., Scientific publications

Community groups

scientific community, policymakers

Background

Yearly around 1000 new HIV infections take place in the Netherlands. PrEP has been shown to prevent HIV infection. Little is known about the attitude and intentions to use PrEP by MSM in the Netherlands. This information is important to assess their needs and to guide policy and implementation stategies.

Since the introduction of PrEP as a successful biomedical intervention (Grant et al., 2010) to reduce HIV transmission the number of countries where PrEP is available is still limited. In the Netherlands, PrEP is not yet licensed and officially available, apart from a pilot test trial run by the H-Team in Amsterdam with an N of 370.

Goals

Radical reduction in the Big Six STIs and 0 new HIV infections
100%
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