NYU Study Suggests Tops And Bottoms Prefer Different Methods For Taking PrEP

Add this one to the list of interesting study findings. It looks like tops and bottoms like to take PrEP different ways.


When most people hear the words PrEP, they most likely think of the drug in its pill form. But, that’ll so be only one way in which the drug can be taken. Clinical trials are currently ongoing for long-acting injections of PrEP where getting a single shot every 8-12 weeks will suffice as support. In addition, there are studies going on for PrEP creams which can be applied to either the anus or the penis.

Curious about how these different methods would be applied by gay men, PhD student William Goedel gathered together a team of researchers from New York University and the University of Chicago.

The team collected data from 482 HIV-negative MSM (men who have sex with men) and published the data in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Photo by Honey Fangs on Unsplash

The study titled, “Are Anal Sex Roles Associated with Preference for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Administration Modalities Among Men Who Have Sex With Men?” surveying how the men would like to take their PrEP. The options were daily use, event-driven use (in which MSM use PrEP during seasonal times when they have sex and think they are at risk), PrEP shots, or PrEP cream.

The study’s results found that 31.7% of respondents would prefer whichever method was most effective. Then, 21.8% of respondents chose the injection, 11.0% chose event-driven pills, 8.3% chose the cream applied to the penis, 6.6% chose the cream applied to the anus, and 4.8% chose the daily pills.

But that’s not all. Geodel and his fellow researchers wanted to know if sexual roles had any affect on the data. They  then decided to split and categorize the data by three groups (tops, bottoms, and versatile men).

Those results found that tops preferred the cream applied to the penis with 19.6% choosing so over 4.6% bottoms and vers men. Meanwhile, 32.9% of bottoms preferred the injection and only 15.4% of tops and vers men agreed.

That said, most of these PrEP methods are far from becoming accessible to the general audience and even further from being affordable for them. As such, we’ll only have to guess whether this study's data is correct or not.

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