Understanding the effects of PrEP stigma

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A French study found fairly high levels of stigma against PrEP among gay men, suggesting that those with good mental health and encouraging partners and friends are more likely to see PrEP as a good thing. suggested to be highly sensitive.

What is your research about?

Effects of PrEP-related stigma.

Researchers surveyed about 2,500 people who had participated in an HIV prevention study in Ile de France, France. The study, which began in 2017, will provide PrEP, HIV and STI testing, HIV treatment as needed, counseling and support for people at high risk for HIV condoms. About half of those surveyed were receiving PrEP.

Most of the study participants were homosexual men (although bisexual men and transgender men and women also participated). Most were highly educated and had high income levels.

Why is this research important?

Since PrEP became available, stigma has caused some people to stop taking or continuing PrEP. It is important to understand how prevalent these negative perceptions of PrEP are and what might be behind these attitudes.

what did they know?

One-third (33%) of participants felt that taking PrEP could create a negative image for others. Younger participants and those with low self-esteem or high levels of depression were more likely to have this idea.

People who were encouraged to take PrEP by a primary partner or friend were less likely to view PrEP negatively.

Those who knew the HIV status of their most recent sexual partner and who had consistently used HIV prevention methods (condoms or PrEP) in the past 3 months were also less likely to view PrEP negatively.

What does this mean for HIV services?

We need HIV prevention campaigns that promote a positive image of PrEP and those who receive it.

These campaigns may be effective if they focus on the positive aspects of PrEP, such as increased pleasure during sex and positive emotions when taking care of one’s health. This may be more effective than focusing on the risks of not using PrEP, as this negative association may further fuel stigma.

What is included in a PrEP campaign depends on the target audience of the campaign. Therefore, any campaign should be designed and executed with the involvement of the target group. This is also a good way to determine if there are subgroups within this group that are likely to view his PrEP poorly. In this study, young men were more likely to hold negative opinions, but this varies by context.

Targeting groups at risk for HIV may help change their attitudes toward PrEP. But it’s also important to address her PrEP stigma in the wider community and among the medical profession. If negative opinions of her PrEP persist in these areas, the stigma will continue to spread.

Providing counseling and other support to help people cope with depression and low self-esteem may also improve perceptions and use of PrEP.

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