Changes in the user profiles of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) before and after PrEP reimbursement

J Infect Public Health. 2022 Sep;15(9):955-960. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2022.07.012. Epub 2022 Jul 28.


Background: In Germany, oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was licensed in 2016. Health insurances have been covering the costs since 09/2019. This study compares the sociodemographic profiles of PrEP users before and after PrEP re-imbursement.

Methods: Participants were recruited in a cross-sectoral sexual health centre in Germany. baseline data were compared for 139 vs 138 individuals starting PrEP from 10/2017-12/2018 (pre-reimbursement cohort) and 09/2019-3/2020; respectively. The pre-reimbursement cohort was further analysed with respect to sexual behaviour and incident sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Results: There were no significant differences in the sociodemographic characteristics between the two cohorts. Almost all PrEP users were men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM). Before reimbursement, fewer individuals used PrEP on a daily base, and more had used PrEP prior to enrolment. During follow-up (pre-reimbursement cohort), the number of sexual and condomless intercourse partners increased, so did the proportion engaging in Chemsex. Incidences of infections with C.trachomatis, N.gonorrhoeae, M.genitalium, and T.pallidum were 45.2; 36.8; 30.1; and 9.2, respectively, per 100 person-years.

Conclusion: The goal to make PrEP available to a broader range of people with the covering of costs was only partially reached. Medically supervised use is important to detect and treat STIs.

Keywords: Condom use; HIV-Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis; Men who have sex with men (MSM); Sexual behaviour; Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis* / methods
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases* / epidemiology