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Awareness of Prevention Strategies and Willingness to Use Preexposure Prophylaxis in Brazilian Men Who Have Sex With Men Using Apps for Sexual Encounters: Online Cross-Sectional Study.


ABSTRACT: Geosocial networking (GSN) smartphone apps are becoming the main venue for sexual encounters among Brazilian men who have sex with men (MSM). To address the increased HIV incidence in this population, preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was recently implemented in the Brazilian public health system in the context of combined HIV prevention.This study aimed to describe the characteristics of MSM using GSN apps for sexual encounters, their awareness of prevention strategies, and willingness to use PrEP.This study was an online cross-sectional study conducted in 10 Brazilian state capitals from July 1 to July 31, 2016. The questionnaire was programmed on SurveyGizmo and advertised in two GSN apps used by MSM to find sexual partners (Hornet and Grindr). Inclusion criteria were >18 years of age, cisgender men, with an HIV-negative status. Eligible individuals answered questions on: demographics; behavior; and knowledge, preferences, and willingness to use PrEP, nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis (nPEP), HIV self-testing (HIVST), and condoms. Logistic regression modeling was performed to assess the factors associated with daily oral PrEP willingness.During the study period, 8885 individuals provided consent and started the questionnaire. Of these, 23.05% (2048/8885) were ineligible, 6837 (6837/8885, 76.94%) initiated, and 5065 (5065/8885, 57.00%) completed the entire questionnaire and were included in the present analysis. Median age was 30 years (interquartile range: 25-36), most self-declared as MSM (4991/5065, 98.54%), white (3194/5065, 63.06%), middle income (2148/5065, 42.41%), and had 12 or more years of schooling (3106/5062, 61.36%). The majority of MSM (3363/5064, 66.41%) scored >10 points (high risk) on The HIV Incidence Risk for MSM Scale, but only 21.39% (1083/5064) had a low perceived likelihood of getting HIV in the next year. Daily use of apps for sex was reported by 35.58% (1798/5054). Most MSM (4327/5065, 85.43%) reported testing for HIV at least once in their lifetime and 9.16% (464/5065) used nPEP in the previous year. PrEP, nPEP, and HIVST awareness was reported by 57.89% (2932/5065), 57.39% (2907/5065), and 26.57% (1346/5065) of participants, respectively. Half of all respondents (2653/5065, 52.38%) were willing to use daily oral PrEP, and this finding was associated with higher numbers of male sexual partners (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.26, 95% CI 1.09-1.47), condomless receptive anal intercourse (AOR 1.27, 95% CI 1.12-1.44), sex with HIV-positive partner versus no HIV-positive partner (one HIV-positive partner: AOR 1.36, 95% CI 1.11-1.67), daily use of apps for sexual encounters (AOR 1.48, 95% CI 1.17-1.87), high and unknown perceived likelihood of getting HIV in the next year (AOR 1.72, 95% CI 1.47-2.02 and AOR 1.39, 95% CI 1.13-1.70), sexually transmitted infection diagnosis (AOR 1.25, 95% CI 1.03-1.51), stimulant use (AOR 1.24, 95% CI 1.07-1.43), PrEP awareness (AOR 1.48, 95% CI 1.30-1.70), and unwillingness to use condoms (AOR 1.16, 95% CI 1.00-1.33).Our results evidenced high-risk scores in the studied population, suggesting the importance of PrEP use. Those individuals presenting risky sexual behaviors were more willing to use PrEP. Nonetheless, only 58% (2932/5065) of individuals had heard about this prevention strategy. Efforts to increase awareness of new prevention strategies are needed, and mobile health tools are a promising strategy to reach MSM.

SUBMITTER: Torres TS 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5799718 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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