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We are pleased that National AIDS Map (NAM) today published some findings from the 2020 PrEP survey we collaborated on with PrEPster, iwantPrEPnow and Public Health England. Some highlights from the article:

A community survey of people interested in PrEP in the UK, run in October and November 2020, shows an increase in access to PrEP compared to previous surveys, alongside numerous other changes that may reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Respondents reported more event-based dosing, fewer sexual partners and less sexual satisfaction.

PrEPster, iwantPrEPnow, HIV Scotland and Public Health England conducted the online anonymous survey to gather information about the experiences of PrEP users and potential users. It follows on from previous surveys in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Different people are likely to have taken part in each year’s surveys, so changes from year to year are suggestive rather than conclusive.

Participants were recruited through the mailing list of iwantPrEPnow, gay dating apps, social media promotion, and community-based organisations. The 1502 respondents were predominantly male (97%) and most identified as gay. Three per cent (42) said that their gender identity was not the same as their gender at birth. The majority were White (85%) and lived in England (88%).

Overall, 88% of respondents reported having ever used PrEP – an increase of approximately 10% from both the 2018 and 2019 surveys.

The most common way for people to get hold PrEP was the Impact trial in English NHS clinics (57%). A further 8% had got PrEP through the NHS in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Fewer people obtained PrEP privately than in previous years, with for example those buying their PrEP from the internet falling from 32% in both 2018 and 2019 to 22% in 2020. Nonetheless internet retailers remained the second most popular way to acquire PrEP, with the most commonly used being Dynamix International and Green Cross Pharmacy.

There were 186 respondents who wanted to access PrEP but had not been able to. Barriers included there not being any available places on the Impact trial (56%), not being able to afford the medication (37%), being told that they were ineligible (19%) and not being able to be seen in a clinic due to access issues (18%). Participants could give multiple responses to this question."

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