One of my followers was pretty concerned about me and being safe after my last post talking about having had an STI. We made a deal that he’ll quit smoking if I “play safe”. Now, something to keep in mind if you’re a gay or bisexual male, condoms are great for preventing STI’s but they can still break/tear and leave you at risk not just for the common STI’s like HPV, gonorrhea, or chlamydia but also HIV. The others can be cured with a couple pills or a shot in the ass and you’re on your way, HIV is a life-long disease that, while manageable, will affect your daily life and it is now completely preventable.
I briefly talked about being on Truvada on my Let’s Talk Sex post. What is Truvada you ask? Truvada is a pre-exposure prophylactic (PrEP) that’s anywhere from 92-99% effective against the spread of HIV. If you don’t believe me google Truvada and get the facts yourself.
I’m shocked at the number of guys I talk to that have no idea what this is or choose not to be on it because they don’t think they need it. As gay and bisexual men (depending on the state you live in), we have many free benefits to take advantage of and you might even get your Truvada for free, why snub your nose at a free prescription, woman don’t even get birth control for free.
PrEP is only for people at high risk for HIV (Which news flash, if you’re having casual anal sex, either receptive or giving, you’re at a high risk. Or sharing needles, but that’s a different conversation). Truvada is barely marketed at all. There’s a widespread fear that if the risk of HIV is taken out of the equation for gay men than the use of condoms will decline and we’ll end up with super strains of gonorrhea and chlamydia that are drug resistant and overall that the spread of STI’s will rise.
I was all for being put on Truvada when I first found out about it but when I tried to get a prescription I found out that the doctor didn’t know what it was, didn’t care, and wasn’t going to prescribe it to me (Montana thinking right there) so I pretty much ditched the idea because I didn’t think I was having enough casual sex to be at risk. I always knew my partners and trusted that they were tested and knew their status. That was until I had a “friends with benefits” that I didn’t know very well who was open about his high number of sexual partners, I was afraid that maybe he was one of those people that assumed no symptoms meant no problem so I was concerned with whether he actually knew his status or not.
Although we barely did anything that would warrant the spread of HIV a friend of mine made me extremely paranoid and I went in to the hospital to get PEP (which is Post-exposure prophylactic) which is a combination of drugs that are effective against fighting the HIV virus up to 72 hours after being exposed to it. Although the doctor told me my chances of getting HIV were very slim in my interaction she was impressed at my knowledge and desire to be responsible and recommended PEP for me. That was how she set her trap.
I had to follow up with her a month later and she was insistent on me getting on PrEP. Who was I to argue when I’m sitting in that office because I just had a scare, that’s like saying, “No I don’t think it will rain today” as it’s raining on you. I was reluctant at first because I didn’t want people to think I was this huge slut for being on PrEP and that I just slept with everyone or have someone assume that they didn’t have to use protection with me because I’m on PrEP.
First of all, you don’t even have to tell anyone you’re on it I just happen to keep mine on my bathroom counter so I remember to take them daily, so naturally people ask questions when they see them. I’m not going to try and sell you on this because the choice is yours I just think you should know about it and know you have options to take extra precautions to take care of your body and future self.
Everyone always says they’re clean in the heat of the moment but if that were always true we would have already eradicated all these infections and diseases by now. It’s your body, don’t trust just anyone with it and don’t believe anything said in the heat of the moment, perhaps the person doesn’t think they have anything because they don’t have symptoms. Always use condoms guys but add to your protection with Truvada.
If anyone has questions or personal comments you’re welcome to send me a personal email and I promise to answer it email@example.com. I try to avoid Facebook because of all the ads but you’re welcome to message me on Facebook too if email is too old school for you. Your questions are what keep me going guys, nothing is off limits.