PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Less than 4 percent of young adult men who have sex with men in the U.S. are on PrEP according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data was taken from an anonymous online survey of 2,347 black, white and Hispanic men ages 18-24 who’d had anal sex but were not HIV-positive, Reuters reports.
“We have had a sense that PrEP is not reaching the communities that could benefit from it most, but the overall level of 3.4 percent is surprisingly low,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, an infectious disease physician at U.W. Health in Madison, Wis., who was not involved in the study.
In 2015, youth ages 13-24 accounted for over a fifth of all new diagnoses, and most occurred in gay and bisexual males, the agency found, according to Reuters.
The current study was conducted by Sarah Marks at Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and colleagues.
The overwhelming majority of participants had at least some college education, health insurance and access to a primary health care provider (PCP)/clinic, according to the researchers. Some 65 percent of survey participants who said they didn’t use PrEP met at least one CDC criterion for PrEP use, primarily condom-less anal intercourse in the preceding six months, Reuters reports.