Young men who have sex with men (MSM) who go on Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) often stop taking it within six months, aidsmap reports.

Publishing their findings in AIDS and Behavior, researchers studied 197 16- to 29-year-old MSM in Chicago who reported using PrEP during the previous six months.

Sixty-five (33 percent) of the men had stopped taking PrEP by the time of their interview. Black and Latino men were significantly more likely to report having stopped PrEP than white men.

Of the 29 men who had stopped PrEP and who were interviewed about conversations they had with their health care providers prior to discontinuation of Truvada, 79 percent said they had had no such conversation.

Of the 35 men asked about their sexual behavior after stopping PrEP, 48 percent said they continued to have anal sex. Of that group, none said they consistently used condoms. Forty-one percent said they never used condoms, 35 percent said they used condoms less than half the time and 24 percent said they used them most of the time.

The reasons the men reported for stopping PrEP included being unable to get an appointment with a health care provider (22 percent), having problems with insurance (20 percent), perceiving themselves as no longer at risk of HIV (19 percent), worrying about side effects (9 percent), cost (9 percent), having problems adhering to the daily regimen (8 percent) and experiencing PrEP-related stigma (6 percent).

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.