A new survey conducted by Grindr and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) with help from the Centers for Disease Control and Gilead science found that 25% of those surveyed reported currently taking pre-exposure prophylactic or PrEP to prevent transmission of HIV.
The survey also provided further information about who is using PrEP and what the barriers to accessing PrEP are.
Here are the results, via Grindr’s blog:
- 1,213 users (25.5% of those surveyed) reported currently being on PrEP. An additional 2,655(55.7% of those surveyed) were interested in taking it in the future. Of the racial cohorts,Latinos were the least likely to be currently taking PrEP.
- Information. Grindr users want more general information about PrEP. 51.4% of those who aren’t on it but want to be said they didn’t know enough about it. 37.3% of those who weren’t interested in taking it at all said lack of information contributed to their disinterest.
- Rural respondents faced a variety of increased hurdles to accessing PrEP, notably including lack of access to LGBT-competent doctors and community clinics.
- Anxiety. 1 out of 20 respondents that were currently on PrEP rated the anxiety they had about bringing it up with their doctor at a 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale with 1 being the most nervous. 17% of respondents who weren’t currently on PrEP but want to be said anxiety about talking to their doctor was part of why they hadn’t started. 3.9% of those who were not interested in taking it said anxiety about talking to their doctor contributed to their disinterest.
- Doctor Pushback. 1 out of 10 respondents who were currently on PrEP, reported they had trouble getting their doctor to prescribe it for them. This figure was double for Black respondents. Of those who were not currently on PrEP but want to be, 5.7% said their doctor refused to prescribe it.
- Adherence. 35.2% of those who weren’t taking PrEP but would like to said they were anxious about having to take a pill consistently everyday. On the other hand, over 90% of respondents currently on PrEP said they had taken all seven doses over the past week.
- Side Effects. There is some concern over immediate side effects among respondents, but there is much more anxiety about PrEP being new and the possibility of facing long-term side effects or unknowns in the future.
- Outness. 3.6% of those who are currently on PrEP said they were not ‘out’ to their doctor. 21.2% of those who weren’t on PrEP but would like to be said not being out to their doctor was a factor. 7.6% of those who were not on PrEP and don’t want to be said that not being ‘out’ to their doctor contributed to their disinterest.
- Health Insurance. A large majority (91.2%) of respondents were accessing PrEP through their health insurance with only 1.9% reporting they did not have any insurance. More than half of respondents currently taking PrEP were making use of Gilead’s copay or medication assistance programs. Of those who were not currently taking PrEP but would like to, 16.8% said one of the reasons was a lack of health insurance. 13.0% of those who were not currently taking PrEP but would like to, said they have insurance but it won’t cover PrEP. 19.3% of those who are not interested in taking PrEP said issues of insurance contributed to their disinterest.
- Stigma. Among those who are currently on PrEP, only 2.9% rated their concern over stigma as “extreme” whereas 52.3% said “unconcerned.” 14.6 of those who are not currently taking PrEP but would like to said stigma played a role. 7.2% of those who were not interested in taking PrEP said lack of insurance coverage contributed to their disinterest.
- Doctors’ Silence. Most respondents said they found out about PrEP from their friends. Only one in ten reported hearing about it from their doctor.
In response to the results, Grindr says it will increase circulation of PrEP information in Spanish and create a mapping project of LGBTQ clinics where people can access PrEP.
Watch a video breaking down some of the survey’s findings, below: