The study, published in the journal Eurosurveillance, compared the proportion of men who stated they were “very likely” to use PrEP if it were available with the proportion of those who currently use it.
The country with the largest number of men unable to access PrEP was Russia, where 44.8 per cent of those wanting to access the treatment were not able to get it. This is a worrying figure given the high rates of HIV in the country.
The country with the lowest gap was Portugal where just 4.3 per cent of men who have sex with men were unable to access the drug.
Across Europe as a whole 17.4 per cent of men were unable to access the preventive treatment – this figure is based on an assumption that nearly three per cent of adult men in the EU are gay or bisexual.
The study found that lack of access was linked to whether PrEP was available free to those most at risk of contracting HIV.