Recently a study was published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases in which men in Australia who have sex with men were surveyed on whether they would make the switch from daily use PrEP to an on-demand PrEP alternative.
The 15-question survey found that nearly half of respondents (which included gay and bisexual men, daily PrEP users, people who hadn’t used PrEP before, and people who had participated in a previous PrEP study) were interested in switching from daily to on-demand PrEP.
Some more common reasons cited by those wanting to make the switch were: toxicity, dislike of taking pills, infrequent need of PrEP, and having trouble remembering to take pills. Those who weren’t interested in switching over gave reasons such as: concerns about efficacy, feeling anxious, and worries about not remembering to take PrEP when they needed it.
Edwina Wright, who co-authored the study, noted that there is little evidence that PrEP toxicity is something to worry about for daily users, though doctors should always discuss all risks and benefits of medications with their patients. She also noted that researchers are still waiting on data to determine if infrequently used on-demand PrEP measures are as effective as on-demand measures that are used weekly.
As opposed to the daily PrEP option, on-demand users would take it 2-24 hours before sexual activity, once 24 and 48 hours after sex. There are positives and negatives to both PrEP methods, but don’t let cost hold you back when deciding how to protect yourself from HIV.
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