PrEP Awareness Among MSM in Cameroon: An Exploratory Study
15 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2020More...
Despite the high risk of HIV in men who have sex with other men (MSM) in Cameroon, with an infection prevalence of 37.2%, socio demographic data on this population are very scarce. This study provides the first report on Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Cameroon. It was conducted online in two of the country’s major cities - Yaoundé and Douala - with the aim of exploring MSM level of awareness and understanding of PrEP. The study’s statistical analysis focused on factors associated with PrEP awareness. Descriptive data on understanding of PrEP was also collected. With a mean age of 27 years of age, almost half of the sample ( n =364) had at least a high-school diploma (46%), yet 54% were unemployed. Sixty-percent had had more than two sexual partners during the six months preceding the survey, and more than half of the sample reported a recent HIV test. Only 30% ( n =107) were aware of PrEP. Awareness was associated with education level (reference: high-school diploma OR=1.725, 95%, CI 1.036-2.873), knowledge of antiretroviral therapies (OR= 4.557 [2.388-8.699]) and a HIV test in the previous six months (OR=9.484[2.743-32.790]). Our study revealed that local community-based organisations (33%), online media (23%) and peers (17%) are the major sources of information on PrEP in Cameroon. Among those who are aware of PrEP, confusion remains between PrEP and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis despite a relatively good understanding of the basic principle of PrEP. Findings suggest that it is important to acknowledge and consider PrEP as part of a combined HIV prevention strategy for MSM, through local community-based interventions, digital campaigns and training of healthcare workers on MSM health issues.
Funding Statement: SIDACTION Paris. Financement Jeunes ChercheurEs 2016-2018.
Declaration of Interests: There is no conflict of interest with the present research paper.
Ethics Approval Statement: The protocol for the research project received approval from the National Ethics Committee of Cameroon, and administrative research authorisation from the Cameroonian Ministry of Public Health.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, HIV Prevention, PREP awareness, MSM, Cameroon
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