Sexually transmitted infection testing and prevalence before and after preexposure prophylaxis initiation among men aged ≥ 18 years in US private settings

Sexually Transmitted DiseasesTao G, Pearson WS, Sullivan JM, et al. | June 25, 2021

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Initial and follow-up sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV testing are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when taking HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Researchers conducted a cohort study using the OptumLabs database in order to determine the frequencies of STIs and HIV testing and rates of STIs before and after PrEP initiation among men aged ≥ 18 years. They assessed 4,210 men who started PrEP between 2016 and 2017 and continuously used PrEP for ≥ 180 days. Among these patients, testing was conducted in 45.7%, 45.7%, and 56.0% for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV, respectively, at the second time interval. Findings suggest that in the real-world private settings, much lower sexually transmitted infection/HIV testing is performed for PrEP users when compared with clinical trials. They indicated high STI prevalence before and after PrEP initiation in this study indicating an increased risk of acquiring STI among patients taking PrEP. There is urgent necessity for interventions to improve provider adherence for PrEP users.

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