AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 2180–2184 | Cite as

Knowledge and Use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Among an Online Sample of Young Men Who Have Sex with Men in New York City

  • Katherine B. RucinskiEmail author
  • Nana P. Mensah
  • Kent A. Sepkowitz
  • Blayne H. Cutler
  • M. Monica Sweeney
  • Julie E. Myers
Brief Report


Understanding prior knowledge and experience with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among men who have sex with men (MSM) is critical to its implementation. In fall 2011, NYC MSM were recruited via banner advertisements on six popular dating websites and asked questions about their knowledge and use of PrEP (n = 329). Overall, 123 (38 %) respondents reported knowledge of PrEP, of whom two (1.5 %) reported PrEP use in the past 6 months. Knowledge of PrEP was associated with high educational attainment, gay identity and recent HIV testing, suggesting an uneven dissemination of information about PrEP and missed opportunities for education. To avoid disparities in use during scale-up, MSM should be provided with additional information about PrEP.


Pre-exposure prophylaxis MSM HIV prevention 


Es importante entender el conocimiento y las experiencias previas que los hombres que tienen relaciones sexuales con otros hombres (HSH) tienen sobre profilaxis de pre-exposición (PrEP) para su implementación. En el otoño del 2011 fue reclutado un grupo de HSH en la ciudad de Nueva York a través de anuncios en seis sitios en el Internet que son populares entre HSH y se les preguntó acerca de su conocimiento y uso de PrEP (n = 329). En total, 123 (38 %) participantes contestaron tener conocimiento acerca de PrEP y dos de estos (1.5 %) reportaron haberlo usado en los pasados seis meses. El conocimiento sobre PrEP estuvo relacionado con un alto nivel educativo, el identificarse como gay y el haberse hecho la prueba del VIH recientemente, lo cuál sugiere que existe una desigualdad en la distribución de la información y la perdida de oportunidades para educar sobre PrEP. Para evitar desigualdades durante la expansión en el uso de PrEP es necesario proveer más información sobre éste entre los HSH.



This study was funded through the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. An earlier version of this study was presented at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in poster form. We thank Paul Kobrak, PhD, Jennifer Medina Matsuki, MPH, CHES, Shruti Ramachandran, MPH, MID, all of whom are affiliated with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and all of whom assisted with survey development and implementation. Additionally, we would like to thank Rafael Ponce, MA for his ongoing participation with this project, and for his translation assistance. These staff members were not compensated for their contributions besides salary. We would also like to offer our thanks and appreciation to the study participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine B. Rucinski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nana P. Mensah
    • 1
  • Kent A. Sepkowitz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Blayne H. Cutler
    • 1
  • M. Monica Sweeney
    • 1
  • Julie E. Myers
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and ControlNew York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneLong Island CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of MedicineColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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