Regional Visions 2023

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConference/SymposiumAcademic


Background: Gay and bisexual men accounted for 67 percent of new HIV cases in Australia in 2020, with McKetchnie et al indicating that new HIV infection notifications remain disproportionately high among cisgender men who have sex with men. New South Wales Health indicate that young cisgender gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (YGBMSM) have not benefitted from the same reduction of new HIV notifications as older cisgender gay and bisexual men who have sex with men. As such, YGBMSM have been identified as a priority group for interventions aimed at reducing the risk of HIV infection. Widespread uptake of co-formulated tenofovir (301mg) and emtricitabine (200mg) for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has the potential to significantly reduce the transmission of HIV in Australia. YGBMSM aged under 25 years are less likely than older GBMSM to use PrEP despite oral PrEP reducing the risk of HIV infection by 99 percent when taken consistently.

Methods: This study uses a sequential exploratory design with a participatory research approach. Use of a participatory approach using experience-based co-design methods allows for a focus on community priorities, community knowledge and pursuing knowledge which is oriented to action.

Findings: Preliminary findings from the existing literature indicate that there are challenges to accessing PrEP in regional and rural areas of Australia, suggesting that the uptake of PrEP in the YGBMSM community outside of areas where there is a high population of GBMSM aged over 25 years is low. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the level of awareness and knowledge of PrEP amongst General Practitioners working in regional and rural Australia may be a factor in PrEP uptake in these settings.

Conclusions: This paper will present the early preliminary findings of this study which forms the foundation for a larger, national study of PrEP uptake and use in the YGBMSM community in regional and rural Australia. In addition, this paper will highlight the significance of PrEP to the virtual elimination of HIV transmission in Australia.
Period23 Nov 2023
Event typeConference
LocationDevonport, Australia, TasmaniaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational