Pleasure and PrEP: A Systematic Review of Studies Examining Pleasure, Sexual Satisfaction, and PrEP


Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective form of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention for people at potential risk for exposure. Despite its demonstrated efficacy, PrEP uptake and adherence have been discouraging, especially among groups most vulnerable to HIV transmission. A primary message to persons who are at elevated risk for HIV has been to focus on risk reduction, sexual risk behaviors, and continued condom use, rarely capitalizing on the positive impact on sexuality, intimacy, and relationships that PrEP affords. This systematic review synthesizes the findings and themes from 16 quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies examining PrEP motivations and outcomes focused on sexual satisfaction, sexual pleasure, sexual quality, and sexual intimacy. Significant themes emerged around PrEP as increasing emotional intimacy, closeness, and connectedness; PrEP as increasing sexual options and opportunities; PrEP as removing barriers to physical closeness and physical pleasure; and PrEP as reducing sexual anxiety and fears. It is argued that positive sexual pleasure motivations should be integrated into messaging to encourage PrEP uptake and adherence, as well as to destigmatize sexual pleasure and sexual activities of MSM.

Auteur(s) : Curley, C. M., & al.