Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Men Who have Sex with Men in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire: A Qualitative Evaluation of Acceptability

Sara Jeanne Pelletier1, Marie-Pierre Gagnon1, Souleymane Diabaté1, 2, Ouffoué Kra2, Yadjoro Josué Biékoua3, Gbahonnon Dorothée Osso3, Bamourou Diané2, Méliane N’Dhatz-Ebagnitchié2, Carin Ahouada4, Michel Alary1, *
1 Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval, Québec, QC, G1S 4L8 Canada
2 Université Alassane Ouattara, Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire
3 Renaissance Santé Bouaké, Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire
4 Centre National Hospitalier Universitaire de, Cotonou Benin

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© 2019 Pelletier et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec – Université Laval, 1050, Chemin Sainte-Foy, local H0-02, Québec, Qc, G1S 4L8, Canada; Tel: 1-418-525-4444 p.87387; Fax: 1-418-682-7949;



HIV remains an important public health issue throughout the world. In Côte d’Ivoire, a high burden of HIV is observed in men who have sex with men (MSM).


We assessed the acceptability of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire.


We conducted and analysed four focus groups with 31 HIV-negative MSM and eight in-depth individual interviews with participants recruited from the focus groups.


Four MSM (13%) were aware of PrEP before participating in the study. All the participants were interested in taking PrEP if available: 19 (61.3%) would prefer the daily regimen and 12 (38.7%) would opt for the on-demand regimen. Many advantages of PrEP were mentioned: protection in case of a condom break, protection in case of high-risk sexual behaviour, self-reliance, decreasing HIV fear and ease of use. Barriers to the use of PrEP included: it does not protect against other Sexually Transmitted Tnfections (STIs), taking a pill regularly is necessary, the size of the pill, possibility of side effects, the cost and accessibility. Six participants (19.3%) admitted that they would use condoms less if they take PrEP.


Findings indicate that PrEP is acceptable within the MSM community. Implementation should be done rapidly, and PrEP should be part of a global prevention program which includes counselling, STI screening and promotion of safe sex practices. Health authorities should consider PrEP for all high-risk groups to avoid worsening stigmatization by targeting MSM only.

Keywords: PrEP, HIV, MSM, Côte d’Ivoire, Acceptability, Prevention.