Study Shows Big Increase In PrEP Use By Gay/Bisexual Men At Risk For HIV

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control indicates an almost 500% increase in the use of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) among gay and bisexual men in 2017.


The data, presented at the 2019 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle on Thursday, found 35% of gay/bisexual men at risk for HIV had begun using PrEP, up from only 6% in 2014.

According to NBC News,  the study was based on 8,000+ interviews across 20 cities in the U.S.

The numbers also revealed the varying adoption rates among different ethnic groups.

Among gay/bisexual men at high risk of HIV, 40% of white men were found to use PrEP, while only 30% of Hispanic men and just 26% of African-American men admitted to taking the drug.


PrEP, also known by its drug name Truvada, has been found to be more than 90% effective in blocking transmission of the HIV virus during sex.

The new report shows high levels of awareness of PrEP among gay/bi men. Ninety-five percent of white men indicated they knew about the drug, as well as 87% of Latinos and 86% of African-Americans.

But in light of the government’s newly-announced “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America,” which has a goal of  reducing HIV infections by 90% by the year 2030, the CDC feels PrEP use is still “underutilized.”

One of the obstacles for people accessing PrEP is the high cost of the drug – around $2,000 a month for those without health insurance. Additionally, different insurance companies have wide-ranging policies regarding approving the use of PrEP.


With those costs in mind, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) introduced the PrEP Assistance Program Act Friday morning.

The new legislation aims to prevent HIV and AIDS by increasing access to pre-exposure prophylaxis medication for individuals at risk of contracting HIV. 

The PrEP Assistance Program Act would create a grant program through the federal Department of Health and Human Services to help cover the costs of PrEP medication, laboratory fees, outreach to inform the public about PrEP, and more.

(h/t NBC News)

Leave a Comment