FRIDAY, Sept. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Considerable racial/ethnic disparities exist in HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness, discussion, and use among men who have sex with men (MSM), according to research published in the Sept. 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Dafna Kanny, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed 2017 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance data to examine racial/ethnic disparities in PrEP awareness, discussion with a health care provider, and use.

The researchers found that compared with white MSM, black and Hispanic MSM were significantly less likely to be aware of PrEP, to have discussed PrEP with a health care provider, or to have used PrEP in the previous year. Of those who discussed PrEP with a health care provider in the past year, 68, 62, and 55 percent of white, Hispanic, and black MSM, respectively, reported PrEP use.

“PrEP is a highly effective and underused prevention tool for all MSM at high risk for HIV,” the authors write. “Further efforts to improve outcomes along the HIV PrEP continuum of care for all MSM and to address racial/ethnic disparities, particularly in discussion with a health care provider and use, will be critical to reducing persistent racial/ethnic disparities in HIV incidence.”

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