However, adherence is a major barrier to the success of PrEP. There are also concerns about its cost and potential side-effects. Intermittent dosing has been proposed as a way of overcoming these limitations. A recently published study showed that adherence was also challenging when an intermittent dosing strategy was used.
This treatment strategy involves taking a dose of antiretroviral therapy before a risky sexual encounter, with a second dose taken shortly after.
This strategy will only be suitable for people who engage in risky sex fewer than three times per week, and who plan their sexual encounters.
Investigators in the US wished to establish a better understanding of the characteristics of gay men and other MSM who fulfilled these criteria.
HIV-negative gay men were recruited to the study using social networking sites in late 2010. All were sexually active (defined as anal sex within the previous month). The men supplied demographic data, as well as information about their sexual risk behaviour, how they planned their sexual encounters, their use of sexual networking media and their relationship status.
A total of 1013 men participated in the research. Their median age was 28 years. Most (56%) participants reported that their last anal sex was unprotected.
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