"Shaming doesn't prevent HIV"

PrEP. Photo provided.

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, a drug used to prevent HIV infection, has recently become more available in the LGBTQ+ community.

However, it was revealed in a recent study by the Gay Men’s Health Project publication, FS Magazine, that 33 percent of men who take the drug experience negative feedback.

This is true for gay men in both Britain and the United States.

One must take a dose of the anti-HIV drug Truvada once a day when on PrEP. In addition, he must frequently get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections, have a physician monitor his live and kidney functions. PrEP does not protect against other infections such as Chlamydia or syphilis but those taking PrEP have better chances of treating other infections because of the regular checkups.

The report found that many people in the UK believe taking PrEP implies one is having careless sex. Ten percent of men said they were judged because “taking PrEP means you don’t care about your health.” While 48 percent say people tell them to use condoms and 43 percent of them were called “sluts.”

 “We really need to stop slut shaming each other”, said Ian Howley, Chief Executive of the Health Equality and Rights Organization told Queerty.  “Calling each other lazy, irresponsible or promiscuous does nothing to stop the spread of HIV. It only takes one sexual encounter for HIV and STIs to be passed on.”

“People don’t stop having sex because of being slut shamed. They are just more likely to hide their sex lives from their friends or potential partners and think twice about how they interact with health advisers. Slut shaming does not prevent HIV.”

There have been three overall cases of PrEP failing to prevent HIV. However, the drug has proven to be more than 99 percent effective in prevention.

Copyright The Gayly. 10/27/2018 @ 2:52 p.m. CST.