Since it has entered the popular vernacular I have seen many posts on Facebook regarding PrEP. Often these posts concern stigma associated with being on PeEP. Quite honestly there should be no stigma with PrEP. In fact, guys who are on PrEP should be applauded for several reasons. These men are taking responsibility for their health and the health of those they fuck around with. Moreover, if these men are truly fucking around as much as many promoting PrEP associated stigma insist they are, more power to them; they should be looked up at to for having great sexual prowess (numbers count with me).
A few days ago a close friend (who shall remain nameless) mentioned to me that he asked his doctor about; his intent was not to give up condoms but rather to complement their use. It is unfathomable to me how anyone could argue against using PrEP as part of an arsenal utilized to prevent HIV. One thing my buddy said concerning the experience of speaking with his doctor sounded very familiar to me-“my doctor really did not know much about it but thought it was a good idea.” A few people have actually made similar comments to me, and when I asked my own physician about maybe going on it, he said he “really knew very little about it,” and suggested I see a specialist in ID. He also requested that I send him any of the information I may have on PrEP (knowing that I have access to several databases including EBSCOhost ones such as PubMed w/Full Text and CINAHL with full text-both great repositories of peer-reviewed, medical knowledge).
I think this is a large part of the problem-the lack of knowledge about PrEP on the part of Primary Care Physicians. I am not saying every PCP lacks the information on PrEP, but a lot of them do. Guys who see a physician specializing in ID for primary care are bound to be able to get more information on PrEP than guys who see someone who specializes in Internal Medicine, or any other specialty.
I personally have read a few of the peer-reviewed articles concerning PrEP (including studies, and what has been released from ongoing studies), and have spoken with another friend who is in ID who pretty much confirmed my own informed conclusions from the research concerning Truvada’s efficacy as used for prophylaxis. I tend not to trust the articles from popular sources as they do not provide me with enough information (I want to know sample size, methodologies, data collection and silly things like that).
After my friend had told me his doctor’s response he asked if I was on the PrEP regime. This is a logical question, especially to anyone who knows me for a very long time because as they can attest to I can be a slut of epic proportions. Also this friend knows that I am manic about STD screening and testing regularly for everything. I answered the question with “no,” and felt the need to explain why so as not to discourage the lovable rogue from going on the regime himself.
If I were as sexually active as I was in my misspent youth, or hell, even my early thirties I would most probably have been one of the first people on PrEP after it was cleared by the FDA for prophylaxis. The sad fact is I am not that active right now. I play a decent bit, but usually most play involves BDSM activities and not the sex act for me lately. This does not mean that it doesn’t happen, it just doesn’t happen all that often and the pool of guys it happens with is quite small. With this being the case I figure I have some time to pull more peer-reviewed information and take my time digesting it. If I found my sexual activity levels to increase suddenly, I would pull the trigger and go on PrEP.