Purpose: This paper compares younger (aged 18-39; n=197) and older (ages 50+; n=53) MSM to determine their familiarity with PrEP, willingness to learn more about PrEP, perceptions of stigma relating to PrEP use, and perceptions of barriers to PrEP adoption.
Methods: A purposive sample of diverse MSM completed 15-minute questionnaires. Younger and older MSM were compared using Student’s t-tests and odds ratios for bivariate analyses, and multivariate logistic regression and multiple regressions for analyses controlling for key demographic characteristics.
Results: Compared to younger MSM, older MSM were more aware of PrEP, more likely to know another PrEP user, less interested in learning more about PrEP, and more averse to using existing resources to learn more about PrEP. Older men perceived less stigma relating to PrEP and fewer obstacles needing to be overcome in order to give serious consideration to PrEP adoption. These differences remained when race, educational attainment, sexual orientation, and HIV serostatus were controlled.
Conclusions: There is a “good news/bad news” situation with respect to older MSM and PrEP. They were more aware of PrEP, less likely to associate stigma with PrEP use or PrEP users, and anticipated fewer barriers to PrEP adoption. They were also less interested than their younger counterparts in learning more about PrEP and expressed less comfort using existing sources of information to learn more about PrEP. Age-appropriate PrEP educational campaigns are advisable in order to reach older MSM and encourage more of them to consider PrEP adoption.
Older MSM; Younger MSM; Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); Perceived stigma; Perceived obstacles