A significant proportion of gay and bi men taking daily Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis are interested in the possibility of switching to a long-acting injectable version of PrEP, aidsmap reports.

Long-acting cabotegravir as PrEP, given every eight weeks, is currently in a large Phase III trial including HIV-negative transgender women and cisgender men who have sex with men. The first results are expected in 2019.

Between November 2015 and November 2016, researchers in New York City recruited to a survey study 104 men who identified as gay or bisexual and who had been taking Truvada as PrEP for at least 30 days. They deliberately recruited a sample of men in which half reported the use of club drugs.

Half of the participants were white, about three in four had a college degree or a greater level of education and 42 percent had an annual income of $50,000 or more. The average age was 35. Sixty-four percent had been on PrEP for less than a year.

Fifty-two percent of the men had heard of long-acting injectable PrEP. Thirty percent said they would prefer such an option if approved by the Food and Drug Administration, while a third said they would opt for whichever option was more effective.  

Sixty-two percent of the men were not concerned about the needles used to deliver long-acting PrEP. Fifty-five percent were not particularly concerned about the need to return for quarterly monitoring while on long-acting PrEP. However, this latter survey question was not in line with the fact that long-acting cabotegravir is being studied in eight-week intervals.

Eighty-eight percent of the men had at least some reservations about potential long-term health effects of long-acting injectable PrEP, and 93 percent were concerned about possible side effects.

Eighty-eight percent were concerned that long-acting PrEP’s effects could diminish between injections. Ninety-three percent expressed some concern about how effective long-acting PrEP would be.

Those with less education were more likely to say they would prefer long-acting PrEP compared with those with a college degree. Those who said they were concerned that long-acting PrEP would offer incomplete protection against HIV and those concerned that its effects may wear off between injections were each less likely to say they preferred long-acting PrEP.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.