Only 4 percent of sexually active men
who have sex with men in the United States are on Truvada, a new
study has concluded.
Truvada is a prescription only
medication used to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS. In 2012, the FDA
approved Truvada for preventative use, and recommended the form of
pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk groups, including gay
and bisexual men, to reduce the risk of infection.
A first-of-its-kind study conducted by
the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and published last
week in the journal PLOS ONE shows a low rate of PrEP use in
the United States, MedicalXpress reported.
“The extremely low rate of PrEP use,
while not surprising given barriers to access in various parts of the
country, is disappointing,” said Phillip Hammack, a psychology
professor who led the study.
Hammack and his team also found that
young gay and bisexual men (18-25) who are sexually active are not
tested for HIV annually, as recommended by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). However, young men were more likely to
be familiar with PrEP as HIV prevention than men aged 34-41.
“I worry especially about younger men
who didn't grow up with the concerns of HIV and men of older
generations did,” Hammack
said. “The low rate of HIV testing probably reflects a degree
of complacency and cultural amnesia about AIDS.”