THURSDAY, June 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For gay and bisexual men, an increase in HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is associated with a reduction in condom use, according to a study published online June 6 in The Lancet HIV.

Martin Holt, Ph.D., from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and colleagues analyzed the uptake and effect of PrEP using data from the Melbourne and Sydney Gay Community Periodic Surveys (GCPS) of adult gay and bisexual men. Trends in condom use, condomless anal intercourse with casual partners (CAIC), and PrEP use by gay and bisexual men were assessed.

Overall, 27,011 participants completed questionnaires in the Melbourne and Sydney GCPS between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2017. The researchers found that 1 percent of 2,692 men reported CAIC, were HIV-negative, and used PrEP in 2013, compared with 5 percent of 3,660 men in 2016 and 16 percent of 4,018 men in 2017 (P < 0.001). Consistent condom use was reported by 46, 42, and 31 percent of men in 2013, 2016, and 2017, respectively (P < 0.001). Thirty percent of men who were HIV-negative or untested and not on PrEP reported CAIC in 2013, compared with 31 and 29 percent of men in 2016 and 2017, respectively (non-significant trend).

“Other jurisdictions should consider the potential for community-level increases in CAIC when modelling the introduction of PrEP and in monitoring its effect,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer of the PrEP medication Truvada.

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