Low awareness of PrEP in BME communities in Leeds but high interest in use
Simon Collins, HIV i-Base
A pilot survey of people attending football matches featuring African teams provided confirmation of the expected low awareness of PrEP amongst black and minority ethic (BME) communities in Leeds. The results also reported a high interest in using PrEP if it was available.
The project was a collaboration between Leeds Centre for Sexual Health and the community HIV organisation BHA Leeds Skyline.
Overall, 75 completed surveys (95% from men) were returned from two events (the African Cup of Nations and the refugee football tournament).
Age ranged from 15-74 years old, with the majority (52%) from people aged 15-24. Ethnicity demographics included 77% black African, 8% black British, 4% white British and 11% other. Although 93% were heterosexual, 4% were bisexual and 3% didn’t answer this question.
Overall, 81% (61/75) had not heard about PrEP. With further information, however, 60% (45/71) said that they would be interested in taking PrEP if it was provided by the NHS, half of whom said they would not use PrEP unless it was provided free. Also, 45% (34/71) said PrEP would not change their current condom use.
Amongst people who identified as having risk for HIV, everyone said they would take PrEP if provided by the NHS. This included 19% of the group who had a partner from a country considered high risk for HIV, 4% men who had sex with men, 3% who had an HIV positive partner or who paid for sex respectively.
Although this was only a small survey, this group was able to reach a population affected by HIV that existing information networks have been unable to reach.
This is important as the ongoing PrEP IMPACT study has ring-fenced places for people who are non gay or bisexual men. 
Further outreach is essential if the study is to adequately recruit people from other risk groups.
- Ekong N et al. Awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the black and minority ethnic (BME) community: results of a questionnaire survey
. 4th Joint BHIVA/BASHH Conference, 17–20 April 2018, Edinburgh. Oral abstract O29. Published in HIV Medicine, 19 (Suppl. 2), s21–s152. Poster abstract P71.
- PrEP IMPACT Trial.