If you follow along with gay men’s health topics as much as I do (so you probably don’t, and that’s okay), you may have heard about PrEP. Basically, it’s a pill, that prevents someone from contracting HIV. The science behind it is much more complicated, but it’s kind of like a vaccine. Side note, there’s also PEP, which is taken if you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, to prevent yourself from seroconverting (acquiring the infection).
It has had its detractors, some saying it will lead to an increase of other STIs, although you’re still supposed to use condoms when on PrEP, since it does not protect against anything else, and new research has showed that it actually has brought down the rates of several STIs, by as much as 40% To continue being on PrEP, you have to be tested every three months, and knowing your status is the best and most effective way of stopping the spread of these infections.
There’s a new ad campaign out about PrEP, and while overall I really like it, the first ‘episode’ of it seems to paint condom use in a bad light, but they correct that in the next videos. It’s also refreshing to see some more explicit images, especially since it’s a drug mainly targeted to gay men, as we’re a high risk group (but also any couple in a serodiscordant relationship, meaning one has HIV and the other partner does not).
There’s more info available here, as well as some awesome behind the scenes discussions about the project and PrEP itself, and how it fits into a full, healthy regimen of safer sex.
All my best,