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Assessing the need for a pre-exposure prophylaxis programme using the social media app Grindr®.

Assessing the need for a pre-exposure prophylaxis programme using the social media app Grindr®.
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Hampel B, Kusejko K, Braun DL, Harrison-Quintana J, Kouyos R, Fehr J,


Hampel B, Kusejko K, Braun DL, Harrison-Quintana J, Kouyos R, Fehr J, (click to view)

Hampel B, Kusejko K, Braun DL, Harrison-Quintana J, Kouyos R, Fehr J,

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HIV medicine 2017 05 1918(10) 772-776 doi 10.1111/hiv.12521

Abstract
OBJECTIVES
HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not approved in Switzerland and therefore must be paid for by the users themselves. We conducted a survey to find out whether men who have sex with men (MSM) in Switzerland are already taking PrEP, or are considering using it, and whether it is being taken under medical supervision or not.

METHODS
Grindr® is a geosocial networking app for MSM. Between 5 and 24 January 2017, users of the app who were located in Switzerland by a global positioning system (GPS) were asked to participate in a ten-question survey on PrEP use.

RESULTS
Of the 2455 people who took part in the survey, 1893 were included in the analysis. Eighty-two participants (4.3%) reported that they were currently taking PrEP, 64 of whom (78%) said that they were under medical supervision. Seven PrEP users (9%) declared that they had not taken an HIV test within the previous 12 months. Nine hundred and forty-four (49.9%) were considering taking PrEP in the next 6 months, and 1474 (77.9%) were considering taking it at some point in the future.

CONCLUSIONS
In an online survey carried out among sexually active MSM in Switzerland, only a minority of the individuals approached responded that they were currently using PrEP. However, the majority of participants were considering taking PrEP in the future. We identified a substantial proportion of PrEP users taking PrEP outside a medical setting. Hence, a national programme facilitating access to medical care and providing PrEP is urgently needed.

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