Configuring the PrEP user: framing pre-exposure prophylaxis in UK newsprint 2012–2016

Young, I. , Boydell, N. , Patterson, C. , Hilton, S. and McDaid, L. (2021) Configuring the PrEP user: framing pre-exposure prophylaxis in UK newsprint 2012–2016. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 23(6), pp. 772-787. (doi: 10.1080/13691058.2020.1729420) (PMID:32252605) (PMCID:PMC7612002)

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Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been hailed as a revolutionary intervention for HIV prevention. PrEP’s controversial status in the UK has generated significant media coverage. It is important to understand what role the media plays in framing PrEP policy issues. We undertook a qualitative analysis of UK newsprint articles between 2012 and 2016 to examine how PrEP was framed as a public health intervention up until a controversial policy decision not to provide PrEP in England. We identified how scientific evidence was deployed to shape two narratives: ir/responsible citizens focused on imagined PrEP users and their capacity to use PrEP effectively; and the public health imperative, which described the need for PrEP. Our analysis demonstrates the particular ways in which scientific evidence contributed to the certainty of PrEP as an effective intervention within UK newsprint. Scientific evidence also played a key role in framing PrEP as an intervention specifically for cis-gendered gay and bisexual men, playing into wider debates about who is a deserving patient and the appropriate use of public resources. Practitioners in the UK and elsewhere should be aware of these constructions of the PrEP user to ensure equitable access to PrEP beyond gay and bisexual men.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McDaid, Professor Lisa and Hilton, Professor Shona and Patterson, Dr Chris and Boydell, Dr Nicola and Young, Dr Ingrid
Authors: Young, I., Boydell, N., Patterson, C., Hilton, S., and McDaid, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Culture, Health and Sexuality
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1464-5351
Published Online:07 April 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Culture, Health and Sexuality 23(6): 772-787
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727671SPHSU Core Renewal: Informing Healthy Public Policy Research ProgrammePeter CraigMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/15IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU15
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU11