Science Is Close To A Monthly PrEP Option

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A long lasting option for PrEP is closer than you think.

New from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says that health experts are looking at different options than the standard daily Truvada pill. One such option is a pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) injection that would last four weeks. The goal is also to eventually prolong that time to a possible two to six months.

The goal of this injection would be to fight off the exhaustion people get from taking a pill every day. This then causes mistakes where men will not stick to their schedules and risk infection. This event has already happened several times before.

While we’ve already heard of this injectable option being in the works, the new information from the NIAID states that the injectable is one of the most promising options out of four products currently under investigation. The other three include a polymer ring inserted into women’s vaginas to release the antiretroviral drug over time, an implant device that releases the drug over time, and an antibody that’s infused or injected into the body.

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But would men use this injectable option if it was provided? Turns out, that’s a yes. But some GBT men would be happier than others.

Last year, we shared with you a New York University study which discovered that tops and bottoms answered differently to how they would like to administer PrEP. 482 HIV-negative MSM (men who have sex with other men) responded to having different ideas on how they’d like to take the drug.

The study’s results found that 31.7% of the men would take the drug however it was recommended as most effective. Then, 21.8% responded saying they’d prefer the injection, 11.0% said they’d take pills only if its during moments of emergency or potential risk (like a Plan B pill), 8.3% chose a cream option that they would have to apply to their penis, and 6.6% chose the cream but wanted to apply it to their anus. Then finally, 4.8% chose to take the pills in their already provided daily state.

The numbers got more interesting when the responses were categorized between sexual positions. It turns out that tops and bottoms had specific preferences as 19.6% chose the cream on their penis over 4.6% of bottoms and vers men doing the same. Meanwhile, 32.9% of bottoms preferred the injection while only 15.4% of tops and vers men agreed.

The injection is still in the middle of being studied investigated, but it looks to be the most promising option for GBT men out of the four researched products. So when, eventually, the injection does become available for use, will MSM use it?

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