A new research published in The Lancet HIV journal conducted by the social scientist Martin Holt of the University of New South Wales interviewed nearly 17,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) in the cities of Sydney and Melbourne between 2013 and 2017. According the publication “Science”, during this time, the number of HIV-negative participants who was in PrEP treatment jumped of 2% for 24%.
At the same time frame, “consistent” condom use dropped from 46% to 31% in men who reported having anal sex with casual partners. Some previous studies had found little change in condom use in people who use PrEP. Others showed the introduction of PrEP has coincided with increases in sexually transmitted infections (STIs), however, these results could be related with the increase of STIs tests.
Holt, the study’s lead author, said that may the results could be explicated by the first public campaigns that advocated PrEP use targeted gay and bisexual men who already reported inconsistent condom use with partners they did not know: “One theory is we’ve removed this massive group of guys who otherwise would be at high risk of HIV”.
The positive results experiences with the PrEP prevention method did not surprise him. Rather, he believed that more attention should be paid to men who are not in PrEP, whose behavior may be affected by the new sense of security among their peers; eventually, if standards for condom use change so much that it has turn no longer a standard strategy used by gays, HIV transmission rates can increase: “The initial results are promising, but I’m slightly concerned about the long-term effects” .
Read more here