Primary Care, HIV
Dr. Elyse Watkins, DHSc, PA-C
Importance: Men that have sex with men have been disproportionately affected with the HIV virus, it is estimated that in 2017, gay and bisexual men accounted for 66% of all HIV diagnoses in the United States. 4 In efforts, to decrease the incidence of new HIV cases pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication is recommended for individuals at high risk for contracting HIV. High rates of sexually transmitted infections have been reported among PrEP users, as well as high rates of condom-less sex. 4
Objective: The purpose of this article is to review sexually transmitted infection rates and risky sexual behaviors in men who have sex with men that are taking HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis medication.
Evidence review: A PubMed literature search was conducted through PubMed.gov online resource with the following key words: HIV PrEP, STI rates, men who have sex with men, risky sexual behavior. Two hundred and four pertinent articles were retrieved, and they serve as the basis for this clinical review. These articles were filtered to only include articles that were published in the last five years with free full text, leaving twenty-one articles. Abstracts from the remaining articles were reviewed to locate articles focused on the target population (men who have sex with men) and behavioral risk, leaving six articles. Additional resources were identified through the selected articles but were not included due to the target population.
Findings: The research demonstrated that HIV PrEP medication has a positive correlation to sexually transmitted infection rates. Sexually transmitted disease rates in men having sex with men since the inception of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis have risen. Recent epidemics and sexually transmitted infection among men having sex with men reflect the global loss of fear to contracting HIV/AIDS. 2
Conclusions and Relevance: The high rates of STI rates among men that have sex with men has been linked to increased condom-less intercourse. While PrEP medications decrease HIV infection rates if taken as prescribed, there has been an increase in sexually transmitted infection and risky sexual behavior in men who have sex with men.
Roberts-Harris G. Does HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis increase risky sexual behavior and STI rates?. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2020; 2(3).
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