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J Sex Res. 2019 Feb 19:1-8. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2019.1572064. [Epub ahead of print]

The Impact of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Use on Sexual Anxiety, Satisfaction, and Esteem Among Gay and Bisexual Men.

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a Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training , Hunter College of the City University of New York.
b Health Psychology and Clinical Science Doctoral Program , The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
c Department of Community Health and Social Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy of the City University of New York , and The City University of New York Institute of Implementation Science in Population Health.
d Department of Psychology , Hunter College of the City University of New York.


Gay and bisexual men (GBM) with heightened fears of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition have reported high levels of sexual anxiety and low sexual self-esteem. Similarly, sexual satisfaction has been reported to be lower among some GBM who rely solely on condom use as HIV prevention. We sought to explore whether pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) had an impact on the sexual satisfaction, anxiety, and esteem of GBM. As part of a longitudinal cohort study of 1,071 GBM, participants reported at three time points on PrEP use and completed the Multidimensional Sexual Self-Concept Questionnaire (MSSCQ). A total of 137 GBM began taking PrEP in the 24 months following baseline. Comparing their responses during times before initiating PrEP and after, within adjusted multilevel models, there was a significant decrease in sexual anxiety (B = -0.27, p = 0.03) but no significant changes in sexual esteem or satisfaction. Our findings indicate important psychological improvements resulting from PrEP initiation. Further research should explore the potential for other psychological benefits of PrEP use among GBM.

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