Needs of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV infection and related barriers among men who have sex with men

Shi Anxia, Don Operario, Zhang Zhihua, Zhao Yue, Zhu Xiaofang, Yang Cui, Nicholas Zaller, Gao Pan, Wang Jun, Sun Yehuan, Zhang Hongbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To understand the actual needs for the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV infection and the factors hindering PrEP utilization in men who have sex with men (MSM). Methods Participants were recruited by using MSM social application software Blued 6.5.0 and through MSM peer referral, sample size was 600. An electronic questionnaire survey was conducted anonymously with guidance of investigators via "Questionnaire Star" platform. The contents of the survey included demographic characteristics of the participants, the awareness of PrEP related knowledge, willingness and concerns about using PrEP, actual need for PrEP and self-efficacy of using PrEP. Results A total of 622 MSM completed the survey, of whom 56.4% (351/622) and 4.3% (27/622) ever heard of and received PrEP, respectively. The need assessment of PrEP showed that 67.2% (418/622) of the participants had actual needs for PrEP and 21.2% (132/622) used PrEP with good self-efficacy. Structural equation modeling analysis showed that the awareness of PrEP related knowledge and concerning about PrEP utilization in MSM played a direct positive role in their self-efficiency of using PrEP, and the effect coefficients were 0.08 and 0.13, respectively. MSM self-discrimination indirectly affected the self-efficiency of using PrEP through concerns about PrEP use, the cffect coefficient was 0.035. The result of generalized linear mixed model analysis demonstrated that the utilization of PrEP can improve the self-efficacy of using PrEP (OR= 5.55), which increased by 0.14 times and 0.07 times with the increase of 1 score of the awareness of PrEP related knowledge and concern about using PrEP respectively. In addition, this survey found that in the participants, the main concerns about using PrEP were side effccts, HIV prevention effcct and its expense, accounting for 61.1% (380/622), 60.1% (374/622) and 53.2% (331/622), respectively. Most participants hoped to obtain PrEP services from CDC, MSM social organization and internet, accounting for 75.6% (470/622), 65.4% (407/622), and 63.8% (397/622), respectively. Conclusions MSM showed difference of high need but low utilization of PrEP services. Low awareness of PrEP related knowledge, concerns about the prevention effect, side effccts and expense of PrEP as well as self-discrimination were the factors hindering the use of PrEP in MSM. It is necessary to establish a suitable PrEP service model to meet the needs for PrEP in MSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-348
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Journal of Endemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • HIV
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Need
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)


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