Positief HIV Nieuws – Let’s Talk About PrEP. June 16, 2015 By Davey Wavey
This is a blog about health and fitness. And when it comes to your health, being proactive against disease and affliction is of paramount importance.
And that’s why I want to talk about PrEP.
“At a certain point, we need to recognize that condom campaigns and HIV education aren’t enough”.
“We need a new tool and PrEP can be part of the answer.”
And before anyone else mentions it, no this is not a sponsored post. This is an honest and open conversation that our community needs to be having.
First things first, PrEP is short for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” and it involves the practice of using drugs like Truvada to prevent HIV infection. For high risk communities (i.e., sexually active gay or bisexual men), some doctors are prescribing this treatment to reduce risk of HIV infection. When taken as recommended, studies show that it can be up to 99% effective.
So is PrEP right for you? That’s something that only you and your doctor can decide. There’s a lot to consider, including risk factors, side effects, the fact that PrEP doesn’t guard against other STDs and, unfortunately, price. Truvada is expensive (roughly $1,500 per month) but it can be covered by insurance and there is a co-pay assistance program.
It’s estimated that about 500,000 people in the United States are potentially good candidates for PrEP. But according to PBS New Hour:
So why has PrEP been so slow to catch on?
There are probably a number of factors. For one, a lot of people don’t know about PrEP. It isn’t currently being actively marketed and, for whatever reasons, people don’t seem to be talking about it. There’s also a layer of stigma. I’ve heard PrEP referred to as the “slut pill.” People who proactively prioritize their health shouldn’t be shamed; they should be celebrated and emulated.
At a certain point, we need to recognize that condom campaigns and HIV education aren’t enough. HIV infections continue to rise. We need a new tool and PrEP could be part of the answer.
“At the end of the day, gay and bisexual men are at high risk for HIV infection. And here is a treatment that dramatically cuts that risk. For me, it’s as simple as that.”