Six out of ten LGBT men have never heard of PrEP, a new study has revealed.
In findings, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the report revealed that as well as the majority of men not knowing about it, a third of primary healthcare providers didn’t know what it was either.
More alarmingly, the study also showed that a number of men who had recently been treated for a sexually transmitted disease were still unaware of what PrEP does.
PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis is medication that can almost completely remove a user’s chance of catching HIV. It currently has around a 99 percent success rate.
The study was conducted by the world-famous John Hopkins hospital and demonstrated a national lack of understanding about sexual diseases in America.
Epidemiologist Julia Raifman from the hospital’s School of Public Health, said it was worrying that a large number of primary care providers haven’t heard of PrEP.
“It is likely that primary-care providers are missing opportunities to discuss and provide PrEP for patients at risk of HIV,” she said.
The study also found that men from demographics with the highest risk, such as the African-American gay community, knew the least about PrEP. Though once they were made aware of it, six in ten said they would consider using it.
It is thought that only around five percent of men in high-risk groups actually use PrEP.
Recently, the Governor of California signed a bill that required students in the state to be taught about PrEP.