DOI: 10.1101/19005207Aug 29, 2019Paper

The Impact of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for Human Immunodeficiency Virus on Gonorrhea Prevalence

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
J. Pharaon, Chris T Bauch


Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection in gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (GbMSM). However, PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In some populations, PrEP has also led to riskier behaviour such as reduced condom usage, with the result that the prevalence of bacterial STIs like gonorrhea has increased. Here we develop a compartmental model of the transmission of HIV and gonorrhea, and the impacts of PrEP, condom usage, STI testing frequency and potential changes in sexual risk behaviour stemming from the introduction of PrEP in a population of GbMSM. We find that introducing PrEP causes an increase in gonorrhea prevalence for a wide range of parameter values, including at the current recommended frequency of STI testing once every 3 months for individuals on PrEP. Moreover, the model predicts that a higher STI testing frequency alone is not enough to prevent a rise in gonorrhea prevalence, unless the testing frequency is increased to impractical levels. However, testing every 2 months in combination with sufficiently high condom usage by individuals on PrEP would be successful in maintaining gonorrhea prevalence...Continue Reading

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