A new study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome shows that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the HIV prevention strategy that when used as prescribed makes it virtually impossible to contract HIV, reduces HIV anxiety among gay and bisexual men.
The data pulled from the "Following Lives Undergoing Change” study, a national, online, and open observational study observing drug use (both legal and illegal) among gay and bisexual men in Australia.
Last year, study participants were asked questions about anxiety around HIV transmission. The end goal was to determine how PrEP use impacts men who are either low-risk or high-risk of contracting HIV.
Researchers interviewed 1,547 men with an average age of 37. Of that number, the ones who were considered high-risk showed lower levels of HIV anxiety in those practiced PrEP. Alternatively, there was no difference observed in men who were considered low-risk.
Overall, men 25 years old and younger were shown to have higher HIV anxiety scores than older men.
By the end of the study, it was clear from researchers that PrEP was greatly associated with lower anxiety as it related to HIV. This benefit, they argue, could be used to help promote PrEP use among men who are most at-risk.
Today, the only FDA-approved PrEP treatments are the Gilead-manufactured drugs Truvada and Descovy.