NEW YORK — Both relationship-specific and structural factors influence whether coupled gay men living in New York City choose to use pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP/PEP) for HIV prevention.
Some men (particularly those in monogamous relationships) felt that discussing PrEP and PEP in the context of a relationship could threaten the relationship by raising issues of trust, while others felt that it had the potential to enhance sexual health and satisfaction, AIDSmap reports.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 gay male couples in New York City in 2017 regarding barriers and facilitators around PrEP and PEP use within the context of their relationships. Each couple was interviewed together, AIDSmap reports.
As part of the recruitment criteria, all couples included at least one partner aged 18-29; at least one HIV-negative partner (in fact only one couple included a partner with diagnosed HIV); and at least one partner who reported recent drug use. Five interviewees were on PrEP at the time of the interview, AIDSmap reports.
In terms of sexual agreements, 30 percent said they had a monogamous relationship, 30 percent a non-monogamous relationship, and 40 percent had an agreement that sex with outside partners was only permitted when both members of the couple were present. In nine of 10 couples, both members agreed about whether they were monogamous or non-monogamous. The average duration of relationships was approximately two years, AIDSmap reports.