New Report Details PrEP Usage in Three Generations of Men

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A recent report produced by the Williams Institute, “HIV Testing and PrEP Use in Different Generations of Gay and Bisexual Men,” is the first research of its kind that compares the health outcomes of three generation of gay men. This report is one of the products of the Generations Study, a five-year qualitative and quantitative cisgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women (LGB) that uses national data through random sampling.

The publication itself focused on larger trends in usage of PrEP medications and testing habits. The hope for the research is that it will inform campaigns that will help target population that are most at risk for contracting HIV and STI’s. According to the research, 25% of sexually active young male respondents reported never having tested for HIV or other STI’s. Men ages 34-41, however, comprise the largest percentage of clients on PrEP treatment.

The report was published on September 7, 2018 in the open access (free of charge and available online) research publication, Public Library of Science (PLOS), where you can read it in full.

The research was conducted by a team of researchers and professors who study public policy, public health, and psychology. The Williams Institute, an LGBT think tank that conducts public policy analysis and legal research on issues that affect LGBT communities, is one of the research institutes through which the data was analyzed. The Williams Institute was founded in 2001 after Charles R. “Chuck” Williams, a philanthropist and president of a business consulting firm, donated $2.5 million to create the institute. It is associated with the UCLA School of Law.

The Generations Study is the first multi-year study of its kind to compare the health outcomes of three generations of cisgender (non-transgender) lesbians, gay men, and bisexual men and women (LGB). The study defines these generations in terms of historical shifts in LGG social perception as well as age groups: older (ages 52-59), middle (ages 34-41) and young (ages 18-25). The study focuses on health outcomes, such as stress and ease of forming an LGB identity or identifying with others, by using both interviews and number-crunching approaches.

The publication itself focused on larger trends in usage of PrEP medications and testing habits. The hope for the research is that it will inform campaigns that will help target population that are most at risk for contracting HIV and STI’s. According to the research, 25% of sexually active young male respondents reported never having tested for HIV or other STI’s. Men ages 34-41, however, comprise the largest percentage of clients on PrEP treatment.

The study received $3.4 million in federal grant money from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, as well as funds from several other federal government agencies. The qualitative data collection for this study began in 2015, while qualitative data collection began in 2016. The survey participants live in urban and non-urban regions of Arizona, California, and New York, probably because the scholars on record live and teach in universities in these states. (Most of the faculty work for the University of California system).

According to data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Division of HIV and STD Programs, cisgender Latino men comprise the largest share of new clients to any of the nine agencies that offer PrEP treatment programs. This is the most recent published data from the Department, and comes from a document entitled Enrollment Statistics from September 30, 2017 to February 28, 2018. Bear in mind that this data accounts for the clients of the nine agencies that are funded by Los Angeles county and does not include clients who participate in PrEP treatment programs through their own private insurance.

The study, which focuses on cisgender lesbians, gay men, and bisexual men and women, has a companion study called the TransPop Study. As with the Generations Study, Gallup Poll, the company that introduced the famous popular opinion survey, conducted a random sampling (participants in the study were contacted through random telephone calls through an automated dialer program) that suggests that it will provide the first scientific study that uses a national probability sample. It should be noted, however, that the TransLatina Coalition, a grassroots advocacy organization, published its own survey in 2013 that used qualitative data (interviews) without methods of random sampling to collect its findings on the institutional factors that oppress transgender Latinas in the U.S.

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