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Public Health researchers estimate impact and efficiency of PrEP for adult and adolescent MSM in the United States

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Melva Robertson

A new study conducted by researchers from PRISM Health (Programs, Research & Innovation in Sexual Minority Health) based within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, indicates that the implementation of a PrEP program among adolescent sexual minority males (ASMM) could reduce new HIV infections in communities with high HIV burden.

Adolescent sexual minority males account for the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses among youth. Black ASMM experience a disproportionate fraction of HIV burden compared to their white counterparts. The study, led by researchers at the University of Washington and the Rollins School of Public Health, utilized agent-based network modeling to assess the potential population impact of PrEP on the HIV epidemic among black and white ASMM. The model simulated HIV transmission among a population of 13 to18-year-old ASMM.

According to results, PrEP averted from three percent to 20 percent of HIV infections in black ASMM and from 8 percent to 51 percent of HIV infections among white ASMM. Despite a larger percentage of infections being averted among white ASMM, PrEP efficiency was much higher among black ASMM for whom background prevalence is much higher.

Study authors noted that jurisdictions with high HIV prevalence may find it especially valuable to develop a program for PrEP among ASMM.

The full article is available in the special edition American Journal of Public Health.

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