PrEP use can reduce HIV stigma in gay communities
Simon Collins, HIV i-Base
A study published ahead of print in the Journal of AIDS reports how earlier prejudice against people who use PrEP has largely been overcome among users of social media hook-up apps in four large US cities.
The study also found that people who used PrEP (approximately 11% of participants) were not prejudiced against potential partners who were HIV positive. This was in contrast to non-PrEP users who rated social media profiles of people who were HIV positive as significantly less attractive and desirable than HIV-negative or PrEP profiles.
Results were from an online survey in 2015 completed by almost 700 HIV negative gay and bisexual men in New York, Washington, Miami and Atlanta. In this population, there was no evidence of stigma when interacting with race, but that profiles disclosing recreational drug use received significantly lower ratings across all five outcomes (attractiveness, desirability, trust, likely to use a condom and riskiness of sex).
Although observational data are vulnerable to confounding (ie people using PrEP might have been less prejudiced beforehand) it is likely that the positive results reported are likely underestimated given the wider acceptance of PrEP since 2015.
Golub S et al. An experimental investigation of implicit HIV and PrEP stigma: evidence for ancillary benefits of PrEP use. JAIDS. Online ahead of print. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001592. (13 November 2017)