Assessment of PrEP eligibility and uptake among at-risk MSM participating in a HIV-1 vaccine feasibility cohort in coastal Kenya

Wahome E, Graham S, Thiong'o A, Chirro O, Mohamed K, Gichuru E, Mwambi J, Price M, Sanders EJ
Wellcome Open Res. 2019;4

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Introduction: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is provided free of costs to at-risk populations in Kenya, including men who have sex with men (MSM), but anal intercourse is not an eligibility criterion. We set out to determine PrEP eligibility, uptake and predictors of PrEP uptake among MSM enrolled in an HIV-1 vaccine feasibility cohort in coastal Kenya. Methods: We compared the number of MSM identified as eligible for PrEP from June-December 2017 by Kenyan Ministry of Health (MoH) criteria, which do not include reported anal intercourse, to those identified as eligible by a published MSM cohort-derived HIV-1 risk score (CDHRS). We determined PrEP uptake and assessed factors associated with uptake at first offer among eligible MSM followed up monthly. Results: Out of 167 MSM assessed for PrEP eligibility, 118 (70.7%) were identified by both MoH and CDHRS eligibility criteria; 33 (19.8%) by CDHRS alone, 11 (6.6%) by MoH criteria alone, and 5 (3.0%) by neither criterion. Of the men identified by CDHRS alone, the majority (24 or 72.7%) reported receptive anal intercourse (RAI). Of the 162 MSM eligible for PrEP, 113 (69.7%) accepted PrEP at first offer. Acceptance of PrEP was higher for men reporting RAI (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0-1.9), having paid for sex (aPR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.6) and group sex (aPR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8), after adjustment for sociodemographic factors. Conclusions: Assessing PrEP eligibility using the CDHRS identified 20% more at-risk MSM for PrEP initiation than when Kenyan MoH criteria were used. Approximately 70% of eligible men accepted PrEP at first offer, suggesting that PrEP is acceptable among at-risk MSM. MSM reporting RAI, group sex, or paying for sex were more likely to accept PrEP. Incorporating RAI into MoH PrEP eligibility criteria would enhance the impact of PrEP programming in Kenya.