Awareness and acceptance of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among medical personnel and men who have sex with men in Korea

Hyun Ha Chang, Shin Woo Kim, Hyejin Jung, Sang Ah Lee, Han Ki Park, Sujeong Kim, Jong Myung Lee, Jun Yong Choi

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We aimed to investigate the awareness of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among high-risk individuals, including men who have sex with men (MSM) and medical personnel (MP) in Korea through a cross-sectional survey, identify possible obstacles hindering their access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Methods: In 2016, the first questionnaire survey was sent to randomly selected MSM and MP. To compare the changes in attitudes and knowledge of MSM, a second questionnaire survey was conducted in August 2017. Results: More than half of MSM (61.3% in 2016, 88.6% in 2017) were aware of PrEP. However, MP who offered PrEP had less knowledge regarding PrEP (23.4%). The background knowledge and experience with PrEP among MSM and MP in this survey was low (3.4% in 2016 and 5.7% in 2017, 1.9% in MP). The major obstacles that MSM reported were lack of insurance coverage (29% in 2016 and 32% in 2017), concern regarding adverse effects of PrEP (19% and 21%), and risk of exposing HIV-positive status to other people (15% and 18%). Among MP, lack of knowledge regarding the efficacy of PrEP was the most common obstacle (30%), followed by lack of insurance coverage (22%), and concern regarding adverse effects (20%). Conclusion: Our study showed that PrEP is required among MSM in Korea; however, most MP were not aware of PrEP. Lack of insurance coverage and knowledge regarding PrEP were major hindrances in the access to PrEP; therefore, further studies on how to make PrEP information more accessible are needed to help prevent HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere91
JournalJournal of Korean medical science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 19

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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