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PrEP: A Personal Perspective

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

In a thought-provoking opinion piece on HuffingtonPost.com, Carl Sandler, CEO of the MISTER dating app and online community for gay men, offers his take on the promise of PrEP—pre-exposure prophylaxis, in which HIV-negative folks take a daily pill to avoid infection. (The antiretroviral drug Truvada was approved for PrEP in July. Want to know more? Check out PrEPfacts.org.)

Sandler acknowledges that while the idea of choosing PrEP over condoms goes against all he’s been taught about HIV prevention, “I also don’t know a lot of people who are able to use condoms 100 percent of the time. Do you? Like anything we try to do 100 percent of the time, it’s actually human to be less than 100-percent.”

The fact is, he continues, “it’s sometimes easy to forget that safer-sex strategies and condoms are not ‘one size fits all.’” And unlike condoms—which need to be (a) available and (b) put on correctly in the heat of the moment—taking PrEP builds HIV prevention into your daily routine: “[T]aking a drug daily, as a woman might take birth control, more accurately addresses sex in the real world—the same world where people slip up and condoms break.”

“Truvada is not the one ring to rule them all, but it might still be a game changer for some of us,” says Sandler, “if we understand that PrEP is not a replacement for common sense.”

The thought-provoking post is excerpted below and available in full at HuffingtonPost.com.

A Pill to Prevent HIV

By Carl Sandler

Published November 6, 2012

Last week a friend posted on Facebook: “It’s been an interesting life. HIV + (positive). 10/9/2012.” He is 24.

Later, I asked my young friend if he had heard of Truvada, the drug recently approved by the FDA for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, against HIV. It’s a pill to prevent HIV transmission. Like most people I know, he hadn’t ever heard about PrEP and didn’t understand that it was an option available to him.

Sadly, I’m not surprised. The information that has come out about PrEP over the past year has been so vague or confusing that millions of gay men at risk for getting HIV may not understand it. The fact is, a daily dose of Truvada can statistically protect against contracting HIV….

Click here to read the full article on HuffingtonPost.com. And check out the related posts below to learn about all things PrEP.

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