Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of HIV infection in France: A nationwide cross-sectional study (PREVIC study).

Published: June 11, 2013


Although preliminary studies showed that preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) lowers the HIV transmission in individuals with HIV, confirmative trials are ongoing and PrEP is not routinely recommended. The aim of this study was to assess whether individuals with HIV share antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for PrEP and to describe awareness and discussion on PrEP in this population. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in France in 23 representative departments of infectious diseases and internal medicine. Physicians administered an anonymous standardized questionnaire to all individuals with HIV receiving ARVs and followed between 24 and 31 October 2011. The questionnaire included items regarding PrEP (awareness; discussion with their close circle, physician or patients’ association; experience), personal sociodemographic characteristics, risk behaviors and HIV status of the participants. Five hundred and ninety three participants were recruited: male 74.2% (men who have sex with men 52.4%, heterosexuals 21.6%), member of patient’s association 9.8%. Half of them (50.6%) lived with a stable partner and 35.2% with an HIV-negative partner. Almost half (41.8%) were aware and 29.5% had had discussion about PrEP. In logistic regression, awareness and discussion on PrEP were more frequent: (1) among males, in patients’ association members (p< 0.001 for both) and in nonheterosexuals (p=0.023 and 0.057, respectively); (2) among women, in those not living with a stable partner (p=0.035 and p=0.03, respectively) or living with an HIV-negative partner (p=0.049 and p=0.083, respectively). One percent of the participants declared having shared ARVs with someone and 8.3% reported PrEP in their close circle. Men reporting PrEP in their close circle shared ARVs more frequently than those who did not (10.3% vs. 0.2%, p < 0.001). Today, individuals with HIV do not seem to widely share personal ARVs for PrEP with seronegative people. A significant number of individuals with HIV are aware of and commonly discuss PrEP.

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