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Chemsex is not a barrier to self-reported daily PrEP adherence among PROUD study participants

O'Halloran, C; Rice, B; White, E; Desai, M; T Dunn, D; McCormack, S; Sullivan, AK; ... Gafos, M; + view all (2019) Chemsex is not a barrier to self-reported daily PrEP adherence among PROUD study participants. International Journal of Drug Policy , 74 pp. 246-254. 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.10.007. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a novel HIV prevention method whereby HIV-negative individuals take the drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine to prevent HIV acquisition. Optimal adherence is critical for PrEP efficacy. Chemsex describes sexual activity under the influence of psychoactive drugs, in the UK typically; crystal methamphetamine, gamma-hydroxybutyrate(GHB) and/or mephedrone. Chemsex drug use has been associated with increased HIV transmission risk among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) and poor ART adherence among people living with HIV. This study assessed whether self-reported chemsex events affected self-reported daily PrEP adherence among PROUD study participants. METHODS: The PROUD study was an open-label, randomised controlled trial, conducted in thirteen English sexual health clinics, assessing effectiveness of TruvadaⓇ-PrEP among 544 HIV-negative GBM. The study reported an 86% risk-reduction of HIV from daily PrEP. Participants were asked about chemsex engagement at follow-up visits. Monthly self-reports of missed PrEP tablets were aggregated to assess adherence between visits. Univariable and multivariable regression analyses were performed to test for associations between chemsex and reporting less than seven out of seven intended doses(<7/7ID) in the 7 days before and/or after last condomless anal intercourse(CAI). RESULTS: 1479 follow-up visit forms and 2260 monthly adherence forms from 388 participants were included in the analyses, with 38.5% visit forms reporting chemsex since last visit and 29.9% follow-up periods reporting <7/7ID. No statistically significant associations were observed between reporting <7/7ID and chemsex (aOR=1.29 [95% CI 0.90–1.87], p = 0.168). Statistically significant associations were seen between reporting <7/7ID and participants perceiving that they would miss PrEP doses during the trial, Asian ethnicity, and reporting unemployment at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: These analyses suggest PrEP remains a feasible and effective HIV prevention method for GBM engaging in chemsex, a practise which is prevalent in this group and has been associated with increased HIV transmission risk.

Type: Article
Title: Chemsex is not a barrier to self-reported daily PrEP adherence among PROUD study participants
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.10.007
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.10.007
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Chemsex, Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), Adherence, HIV, Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM), Prevention
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086586
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