Health: Truvada As Pre Exposure Prophylaxis…Yay or Nay?



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I have reached a point in my life where I feel it necessary to take into account my current health situation and being a young gay man, I have found recent articles on the use of Truvada as a PrEP drug to educate the masses on continuing safe sex practices in the gay community. I have researched the drug, all the side effects and also all the benefits of taking the therapy on a daily regiment basis. In accordance to many publications, I have found myself more and more inclined to get a referral script and begin my therapy as a PrEP patient and protect my health both now and for the future. However, it has come to my attention that the usage of Truvada as a PrEP therapy raises some eyebrows in the more conservative and older generations. Case in point: I still have insurance through my mom. I raised this question in earnest as a possibility to better myself and protect myself. However, upon bringing this up, I was met with a barrage of comments such as “people should just not sleep around and not be safe” and “I raised you better, and this sounds like you just want to go out and have unsafe sex!” This not only disheartened me, but baffled me.

My mom has been an RN my entire life and the figurehead of medicine in my family. I love and respect her opinions on many topics, but I feel like it is bias and ignorance that stands in her way of talking about certain topics to her gay son. But with older generation parents and younger LGBT youth as their children, could this revolution in medicine be the flashback to the 1960’s and the invention of the original “pill”? I am faced with a personal stance that differs from my mom and as the person whom’s health is the topic, I feel it is my decision ultimately to decide my choice on this topic. However, I am left wondering, will this new advance in medicine create tension in homes over whether young adults can now be given the choice to be more free with their bodies but safer in aspects, or will this create a ripple effect of promiscuity and writing off of safer sex practices…Will this be a good thing or a bad thing for the gay community?


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There are 136 comments

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  1. Kyle

    Ask her if she had sex with your after before she was married it indeed, with anyone other than your father. I grew up listening to that Christian crap. If you have the ability to protect your health I think you’d be a fool not too. Wanting to take this drug isn’t nessisarily for promiscuity, though it will be used by some for that exact reason,(that was my thought upon hearing of it), but anything you can do to help yourself with little to no side effects you should do!

  2. Michael

    I think PrEP is a good idea for anyone that can afford it. I don’t know how many times it has gotten hot, heavy, and really into the moment and it’s not til it’s all over that you’ve found out that the stupid rubber broke. If your a bottom/top you just opened up a can of worms.

  3. xlepiphanylx

    Andrew, please follow your heart and do what you think is right for you. That beingg said, I will offer my advice to you. I was diagnosed as HIV+, 11 years ago. I began drug therapy immediately and am now and have been EXTREMELY healthy with fantastic numbers. Therefore, it is my contention that given the outrageous price of ALL HIV MEDS, bo begin a regemen as prevention realy makes liyyle or no economic sence whether it is covered by insurance or not. These drugs do extreme damage to some of your internal organs and make it very hard to control belly and liver fat. I’m not sure how much reaserh you have done, but I would sugest that you return to your research method and delve deeper into tthe condition of HIV, AIDS,& all of the medicinal regimens and make a solid and very informed choice of “before 8 contract or after” also consider other STDs and their cause and effect on positive / non-positive members of society. PLEASE, PLEASE,educate yourself more deeplyprior to your decision and do not act from fear! My Drs are convinced I will live a long and heathy life on my meds, unless something kills me tomorrow, ie: car, plane crash, tornado. Whatever YOUR decision, thank you for discussing it openly in this forum. You have my utmost respect for your concern, however, the Dr visits & bloodwork every 3 months gets awfully manotinous very quickly.

  4. Russ

    Truvada is an excellent drug for us already dealing with hiv…because of this drug I am undetectable. That being said there is NO proof that it doesn’t decrease any chances of becoming hiv. It’s not worth the risk just to have unprotected sex.

  5. greg

    I have been HIV positive, on medication and undetectable for 15 years. I used to take the drug Combivir along with my Viracept but 5 years ago my doctor thought I might be having long term adverse affects to the Combivir so she switched me to Truvada. I’ve read all the PrEP articles about Truvada but never have used it as an excuse to be unsafe. This PrEP is not guaranteed!!!! I, as well as all people, should not take risks until something is ABSOLUTELY guaranteed until there is a cure.

  6. Ronald

    Think of it this way. Even using a Condom isn’t 100% safe. There are stealthers out there, and malfunctioning Condoms as well. Going the extra route to fight against HIV by taking PReP is the way to go. She knows you’re having sex anyway, right?

  7. Cameron

    As one of the Great grandpa’s of HIV prevention, and safer sex researcher/educator and expert in gay male behaviors- I say I am proud of you for going to PrEP. The older generations of breeders and gay men are having some issues with the concept of PrEP-but they need to get over it(these are the same folks who think sex education encourages kids to make babies). PrEP is one the best new tools added the HIV prevention tool chest, when taken correctly and consistently and used with safer sex practices it is an amazing concept. PrEP is a hard sell to many because of the concept of planned sex. I guess many folks don’t think about sex in advance of it happening(which I know is a lie because the average adult male thinks about sex how many times a day?) Remember Monogamy in gay males is a myth it happens 100% of the time very very rarely. (Sorry to burst some of your bubbles, but I have studied it for nearly 30 years) So PrEP makes great sense just from that point that sex happens. Anything that can be done to prevent the spread of HIV is a good thing. Don’t let the antiquated morals and values of the older generation detour you from taking positive steps to maintaining your health. (end note- To those of you PrEP nay Sayers feel free to contact me and lets discuss your fears-to those HIV treatment providers who are poo pooing PrEP pull your heads out of your dark crevices and stop being greedy we need to put you out of job- we need to end HIV)

  8. greg

    P.S. I will never understand some peoples profiles that say things like “HIV negative since 4/22/2012”, or “DDF since 1/6/2013”. Do they not understand how long ago those dates are and how they could have been easily infected, with anything, since then. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. mecocklover

    Anything that can help stem the spread of HIV/AIDS is a good thing. The biggest problem is ignorance [like AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) president Michael Weinstein calling it a “party drug”] and the sheer cost of it.

    It is questionable whether insurance companies will cover the cost of a preventative medicine like this until/unless they are required to by law. If they don’t, the up to $18,000/year cost is out of reach for the vast majority of people.

    The fact is that published studies shows that there is no link between people taking PrEP and subsequently engaging in any riskier behavior. See for example.

    Finally, if you’re an adult, you should be having the conversation about HIV-prevention with your doctor, not your mother, even if she is an RN.

  10. Linyguy

    Bad idea! Too many young stupid kids out there who would just have unprotected sex thinking that they can never catch HIV or any other std for that matter just because they are taking this medication. Keep in mind that there’s still no cure for HIV and although you be able to live for many years with the virus, eventually it will weaken your immune system and will end that killing you anyways. Not to mentioned that is a VERY EXPENSIVE condition to treat. But to each his own I guess

  11. Manny

    I think you always have the option of asking your own doctor, he is the professional in the field, PLUS knows your health status perfectly to advise you if you are a candidate to take or not certain medicine, that’s the most important factor here, DRUG INTERACTION, and I’m referring to other medicines you are taking or you may take in the near future, this is a valuable and extremely important factor for anyone to decide what to do, to have ALWAYS a professional opinion, regardless of the consequences that this might bring, so as always one step at a time, and then you can on your own, decide your own destiny, my humble opinion here!!!!!

  12. Lucas

    Honestly, Truvada is just another mechanism for big pharma to cash off on the fears of the public, in this case the gay male community.

    If you want to have safe sex, have safe sex. Use condoms, get tested normally, have trustworthy partners.

    The side effects of many pharmaceuticals are worse than the disease / ailments they’re made to protect against, and I’m confident Truvada is no different.

  13. Ronnie

    i as an older top am thinking about getting on the regimen myself.. the only thing my copay would be $428 a month ! are there resources out there that could help with the expense of this drug or would that be limited to the people that are poz and take it as a necessary part of existing?

  14. Steph

    Ultimately, it is your decision, but it would be prudent to use the advice at hand as well. Obviously you sought to discuss the topic with your mother, you might as well consider her point of view as a caring parent and experienced medical practitioner. I think this drug is irrefutably purposeful to prevent contracting a deadly virus that has claimed 40 million lives already and another 40 million currently infected. But another thing to consider is that Truvada does not protect against other STDs/STIs. Modern medicine is on the precipice of tackling viral infections with what is termed genomic medicine. But we are not yet there. Again, it’s your decision, but I hope you continue to use condoms and participate in safe sex.





  17. Snorkeydog

    It’s the same argument you would use for condoms whether straight or gay. Would she/they rather you go unprotected? Just because you use condoms or Truvada should not be an indication of whether you are overly sexually active, but more so that you want to protect yourself. If you were straight, would your mom want us to use a condom to protect from accidental impregnation? How about your sister using birth control pills? It’s the same concept. The difference is that this could save your life. Let her know that if you take this daily, it’s 99% percent effective compared to 94% effective for a condom. It’s a no brainer to me. I wish you the best of luck with mom and others around you.



  19. Andy

    I am 26 and have been on it since October when my boy friend and I broke up. I have had no side effects and feel much safer in the ‘wild west’ of being single, young and gay! It is covered by most private insurance and medicaid.

    Thanks ObamaCare!

  20. seth

    Truvada is just to help prevent or atleast try to prevent a person from becoming HIV postive and only for that. Though i applaud you for making that decision to take the drug, i also feel that you a bit ignorant. HIV is not the only STD you can get from having sex. You taking a drug that prevents you from becoming HIV positive, but no where in your statement did you mention about preventing any other STDs. If you want safe sex, than don’t have sex, but since i know that we are humans and can’t always control ourselves from being horny, i suggest the following.

    1. Always use condoms. Men lie, don’t fall for it.
    2. Ask for proof that your partner is STD & HIV negative. If more than 3 months old or no proof see rule 1.
    3. Think with the head on your shoulders and not the one between your legs.
    4. Stop going to bath houses, “bookstores”, sex parties and so on. Those places are breeding grounds for STDs.
    5. No sex till in a STEADY RELATIONSHIP. That means no open relationships, again that a breeding ground for diseases, drama and awhole lot of trouble.

    Most importantly always use common sense. If it doesn’t feel right or seem right to you, stop and leave (i done it alot of times). Hopefully this will help you out. Always keep yourself up to date on all ur shots to include anything for STDs, HIV; use condom, take anything that can help you for catching anything, and enjoy life.. Not everyone will agree with you or your opinion. Be responsible and if theres a way that can help with that I’m all for it, even though most people will use this as an excuse to sleep around more.

  21. David Davis

    As a 50yo man who was around at the beginning. I say add as many layers of protection as possible and never fail in protecting yourself. Make sure you ask yourself the tough questions tho and some of those were brought up by your parents. Why are you doing this. Will this make you take risks etc…
    I am on Prep and do not regret the decision to begin the regimen

  22. AlreadyonthisPill

    As this may sound like a good idea, it sounds like a hoax. Yes it may have some benefits, but there are already people on this pill and HIV still continues to spread. Your best bet is to use protection. I am on this pill and I am HIV+, this pill being given to the masses raises major red flags to me. Big Pharm wants money from you, they are forcing health care down your throat, even if you don’t need it. We need change in this world and it will NEVER come from a pill.
    “Just taking TRUVADA may not keep you from getting HIV-1. You must continue using safer sex practices while you are taking TRUVADA to reduce your risk of getting HIV-1. To further reduce your risk of getting HIV-1:”

    This is not convincing enough. If you want to waste money, send it to ME, or to a AID research place.

  23. Enzo (SoCalTuffGuy)

    I have nothing against it, but isn’t it around $1000 US/month? Seems kind of silly for anyone who isn’t extremely wealthy.


  24. Michael

    It is a personal choice… but as you said… you are on your mother’s health plan… so is the cost covered?? Are you willing to go out-of-pocket with the expense if you are not covered through a health plan?? It also does nothing to prevent other STDs that can so casually be spread through sexual contact… try having warts burned off… or herpes sores on your penis just because you didn’t want to use a condom. Then there are the side effects… it’s a new drug… I’m sure that some studies have been completed BUTT what are the “long term” effects??? We do not know… What is it doing to your liver and other organs long term that need to process it?? You need to stay on a daily dose ….do you have sex every day??
    If you feel that every time you have unprotected sex you are safe… it’s NOT 100% …think again… what is your life worth???
    Last but not least…is a pill really the answer??

  25. Gary

    I am 63 years young and highly recommend taking it. I’ve been on this drug for several years and I’m undetectable. I live a heathy active life.

  26. Aaron

    Wow. My first reflex said why would someone need to use them unless they were going to “experiment” which I traditionally out of habit assumed was wrong-then I read some responses then I thought some more and realized my aversion to anal sex probably came from this idea it was more dangerous than oral and the times we live in.Then ,thinking somemore I realized others could have the freedom to have “real sex””that’s what unprotected sex is a variety of )if only they protected themselves and now they had more options than wearing a condom :which I hate.So,in a world where freedom of choice is the best option this new technique offers help for those who dislike condoms and protection against deadly or troubling diseases .I still feel I would be doing something wrong so deep is fear and protection engrained in me but my reason tells me this truvada is a step in a positive direction. So go ahead and discover what it’s like to not be afraid !Thanks for bringing up this important issue!

  27. splint76

    I started PrEP about two weeks ago. I think it’s great you can even talk to your mom about it in the first place. It *is* your decision, at least if you’re 18. If you want to avoid dealing with her though, see if any public health clinics near you are offering it.

    I think the generational thing is to be expected. The gay community was both burnt by, and to some extent further evolved as a community by, the AIDS crisis. The people who didn’t reject promiscuity aren’t around to take the other side of the debate. But it was never “right” or “fair” or “deserved” that people should suffer and die for loving one another, or even having sexual fun with one another.

    And, of course, we should still be using condoms outside closed relationships anyway, since there’s still stuff like hepatitis and syphilis etc…

  28. Bob

    Iam a poz gay man and I have talked to other poz men who no longer tell people there poz because they are on truvada! Not sure how safe that is. Most tell me they use the phrase undetectable now days! I hope we find a cure soon.

  29. Dan

    I am an HIV positive guy taking Truvada as my treatment. It has been effective without side effects for more than four years, and I totally recommend it. What I do not understand in this debate is how/why someone would pay the cost just as a preventative. Mine costs $1600 per month before insurance, and still $600 per year after insurance. Would most insurance cover this as a preventative? I would expect it would not, as that is a huge cost for an insurance company to agree to for an optional choice. If not covered would anyone pay the full price “just in case”? I doubt that as well. It seems the practical side of this issue outweighs whether or not it is a good solution.

  30. Bobby1983

    I for one love this drug. I can have all the unprotected sex I want and don’t have to worry about anything! Love it!

  31. Alexand

    If you are not positive why take those drugs? truvada is very strong drug and sides effects are no joke plus it is very cosly..maybe $3,000/month..You will only become immune to the drug with unwanted side effects. Do not take hiv meds if you are not hiv+

  32. Brin

    Maybe I’m “older generation”, but the percentage of effectiveness of Truvada is not nearly high enough that I’d bother with it. Condoms suck, but they have a far, far better chance of preventing infection than this drug.

  33. Mitch

    I took Truvada as a post exposure regiment and it was freaky. It cost me $1200 for 30 pills. So if you have an extra $14400 a year lying around I guess you can use it. I addition I had to get a liver function test every two weeks. I would cation against using it. I had no side effects but I can only imagine long term using possibly destroying your liver. I’m not saying don’t use it but better option be trust your partner and use protection.

  34. Alex

    I don’t understand the point of this missive. At the end of the day, aren’t you going to do whatever you want to begin with?

  35. Stephen

    I am currently taking truvada for PrEP and I think all negative gay men should be taking it. It’s just another tool in our safer sex tool belt. The benefits of taking truvada for PrEP clearly out weigh the risks of the potential side affects. Don’t listen to all of the opinionated people and speak with your doctor to determine if PrEP is right for you. I believe this is a great thing for the gay community as not everyone practices safe sex and shit happens. We’ve been working towards a HIV free world for years and this is the first massive step in that direction. Why is this not all over the news! Why are people not shouting from the rooftops? Take PrEP!

  36. Cooper

    As someone taking this drug as part of a daily regiment, consider the side affects. Everyone is different and their systems function differently. It is not pleasant dealing with the nausea, headaches and fatigue that comes with the drug. Also remember, this can help in the fight against HIV but there are other STDs that you can expose yourself to, some lifelong. Ultimately it is your decision as adult but consider all pro and cons.

  37. ulfrsn

    I was lucky to have an eairly seroconversion. an antique gene alows some to produce antibodies within weeks. my immune system shut off while my t4 cd4 rebuilt, and naturally my immune system is stronger than ever. but that would not last indefinitly. so my doctors gave me two choices, start arv now? or a decade or two later? i work hard to still be in exellent shape and health. abouve average. but i like men, and humans so i took truvada which comes with two other medications each with there own side effets. i did it to eleminate practicle risk for myself, but mostly my partners. i just wonder if prep could alter the effect of truvada over the long term, because one day it may not work for me.

  38. JaysSN

    The promiscuity and lack of safe sex phenomenon is already happening, Truvada or not. To even use that possibility to limit access to this drug is to put people at risk simply because you don’t approve of their choice in sexual behavior. It’s reminiscent of the Reagan response to AIDS, and especially disheartening when it comes from gay people themselves.

    I vote yay.

  39. Ethan

    What I don’t understand is why there is such a hassle to get this treatment regimen. I have to specifically tell my doctor that I am a huge bottom cum dump that sleeps with poz men daily without protection in order to be considered. When in reality I am a Vers/top who would like preventative treatment for when I may slip up and not use a condom. Or in a certain scenario that has happened to me, the person I dated lied about their HIV status. (Not pointing fingers, it was still my choice to trust and not use a condom). There are tons of scenarios in where healthy young gay and heterosexual people would like a little bit of extra security for mishaps.

  40. Pharmacy Student/Worker

    Yes & No. Prep should be used on top of safe sex & it’s not a reason to have unprotected intercourse. Take the daily pill if your at high risk: tends to bareback (& you have that guilty feeling afterwards, I know), if condoms tend to break on you, & there are other factors so please add! Most importantly take it if your partnered just as a precautionary.

    La Vida es muy Hermosa: Life is beautiful so don’t throw it away from a one night stand. Which reminds me there are “trial cards” or coupon cards that can drastically subsidize the price **IF you have insurance. No insurance? Then some clinics can offer Prep (Truvada) if you have an “accident”. So don’t fear and take it daily or take the pills when “it” happens. Get insured and protect yourself because no one else will. No B.S here

    From a Med student

  41. Howardangel

    I dont think Truvada is covered under federal or state program unless youre HiV positive. It is a good and effective drug along with other HiV drugs that help fighting AIDS symptoms and prolong a poz healthy life. However a drug is still a drug which is considered as poison in medicine field when introduced into our bodies to fight against a certain illness or condition so generally our bodies will react with symptoms that can be unbearable and have irreversible damage to our body organs like livers, kidneys, skin, etc in long term use. Some may work better for one person but can be horrible for another. Theres no guarantee any of these drugs will work forever but people do have to take them everyday for the rest of their lives. I havent seen many young people that are reponsible enough to consciously maintain the Daily vitamin taking ritual so it is doubtful for taking PreP daily not mentioning the cost or certain unexpected event that may prevent the drug access so there goes all the hard work of responsibility. Just because it has the word prophylaxis in the regimen that doesn’t mean you won’t catch the HIV virus for any broken mucus, body fluid exchange risky hot sex with a hot but also positive HiV stud that might already be on some other effective HiV combo regimen. I know men are horny creatures but unfortunately there is still no cure for AIDS so being proactive in using physical barrier like condoms and start finding out more about the guy or guys you will have sex with or testing together appropriately will show the maturity and responsible young man you are.
    I did my share of risky sex in a short period of time during grad school but luckily still negative probably because I was too involved in getting to know the guys and only had sex if they were honest and not very promiscuous with many people. I did think about taking PreP with the rational that so I could freely enjoy sex and have more risky sex with even positive hot guys. Mind over matters i didnt do it because I couldn’t stand the thought of having to take pills every day after doing my hospital rotations and seeing all kinds of patients with all kinds of possible problems from affordability to uneccesary adverse or side effects resulted from their prescriptions.
    I can live a conscious healthy life without unecessary medication.

    If you still live under your parents roof then you should be patient and listen to their saying regardless how old fashioned they are. Since your mother is a healthcare professional that probably has seen many horrible cases of diseases first hand so it is understandable for her as a mother to not want you to go through all the emotional and physical hardship including the stigma about having HIV regardless of how low the level of the virus RNA in your body due to your possible having to take HIV drugs forever. You shouldn’t be hurried into sex on PreP at the expense of your future long life and many possible relationships ahead of you.

  42. andy

    pros and cons, the pro is that we are one step closer to a vaccine.. con is that people will think that if on this drug; needle sharing un-protected sex and a plethora of heinous ideas are gonna be alright..

  43. Pharmacy Student/Worker

    Yes & No. Prep should be used on top of safe sex & it’s not a reason to have unprotected intercourse. Take the daily pill if your at high risk: tends to bar-e-back (& you have that guilty feeling afterwards, I know), if condoms tend to break on you, & there are other factors so please add! Most importantly take it if your partnered just as a precautionary.

    La Vida es muy Hermosa: Life is beautiful so don’t throw it away from a one night stand. Which reminds me there are “trial cards” or coupon cards that can drastically subsidize the price **IF you have insurance. No insurance? Then some clinics can offer Prep (Truvada) if you have an “accident”. So don’t fear and take it daily or take the pills when “it” happens. Get insured and protect yourself because no one else will. No B.S here

    From a Med student

  44. Dallas r

    Well. One I would say your mom just lived through a different time. When hiv really did kill people. Alot of people. That AIDS quilt is no joke. 20 somethings now see hiv more as a managed illness much like diabetes. Unless your seriously off your meds no one really dies of hiv related problems. Which is great. Personally I see this new drug useful in some cases like if you know you have an hiv partner and want extra protection. Etc. But as a daily pill? A bit much when a condom is cheaper and just as effective most of the time. Also the comparison of prep to the pill is not the same. While the pill did open up woman to have more recreational sex and control of there bodies it wasn’t meant to stop stds. Prep is basically an expensive drug to take to protect yourself from just one thing. Hiv not hep or the clap or herpes. Just hiv so if you really wanted to be safe why would you just take this pill? The condom protects against alot of these as well.

    And finally you can’t forget the big boom companies will get to the bottom line getting millions of queers taking this drug. Honestly its a drug most people don’t really need but will take anyway to be extra safe or to just fuck around. Ether way we are a huge market for this drug and it’s to their advantage to get us all to take it.

  45. It helps, but it's not made to be abused..don't sleep around.

    This is a life saver for anyone who may have had contact with some that has HIV. It will save your life from being infected and getting sick. I approve of this drug. It helped me out out,but it ran me about $1,200 a bottle for a 30 day supply. Last time I slept with someone that had HIV.

  46. Charles

    I haven’t made up my mind about this. While I can see the positive aspects of an (apparently) effective prophylaxis of this type, there are things that weigh on the negative side that I have yet to come to terms with. Number one is the cost. With all the discussion and debate over health care costs, I don’t see how one can justify either an out of pocket expense, or cost to an insurance company, of $13,000.00 per year when there are other significantly less expensive options such as condoms or abstinence. No, I’m not preaching abstinence…just saying that it and little self control are viable and 100% guaranteed option. While condoms are not 100%, unless you fuck a LOT, $8.00 for a box of 12 is a little less expensive. The potential impact that this exorbitant expense could have to rising insurance costs should be taken into account. Plus, (start soapbox) that’s putting a shit load of money in the pocket of a drug company that will be less inclined to research an actual cure because a cure will not generate that kind of revenue stream (end soapbox). Secondly, any pharmacologist will tell you that medications effect each individual differently and, though medications are manufactured at specific strengths because it is the most financially feasible option, there is no guarantee that if you and the guy down the street both take the exact same dose regularly, that it will be just as effective for both of you. Along those same lines, if you’re 18, start taking it now, and 40 years down the road there is still no cure, what can we imagine effects of that kind of drug will be over a term that long. Additionally, are antiretroviral drugs subject to the same problem we see with antibiotics where over use has made them almost ineffective.

    I’ll admit I’m 45 and am definitely considered ancient in this culture. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to be able to go out and get laid without a worry and I do think unprotected sex is definitely better. My goal is just to try and throw some logic out there for readers to think about and consider in light of this topic. Best of luck to everyone in your decision.

  47. Zach

    As a positive person, trust me, you never want to experience that hiv positive test. Do absolutely everything you can to make sure you never see that day. It’s beyond horrible. It’s beyond unimaginable. And tho, once you’re on meds and healthy you’re fine , it’s still something you think about every day. It’s like having a child you have to deal with.

    My medicine has Truvada in it. That means it’s almost impossible for me to ever be infected with a strain of HIV that could be resistant to my other meds. But I still practice safe almost all the time. Bc I never want to have that day be repeated.

    Ignore stigmas. Ignore being judged. Protect yourself. Be safe. Take every step to protect yourself. Because trust me, you don’t want this. You’ll never have a day where you don’t think about it

  48. Keith

    I think you need to weigh other risks like exposure to HPV. One of my partners transmitted HPV to me during foreplay when I was 25. It sounds cliche but it was “just the tip”. Soon after I started to develop anal warts and had to have the first of many surgeries to burn off the warts. At one point an anal PAP screening showed that I had precancerous cells which led to even more painful surgery and recovery. Now I have to go for cancer screenings every 6 months at the local cancer teaching hospital. I ask myself was the unprotected play worth it. I think not.

  49. Truvada Whore Wannabe

    I hooked up with a guy last week who had his raw dick in me before I could say yes or no. I made him put on a condom, but not before he leaked precum in me. I would have loved for him to breed me, let’s be honest. But we should have the option to be safer which is possible with consistent Truvada use.

  50. LPL

    I have been on Truvada now for over a month and i like it. I only had side effects only for a week. I do think I have had sex more on the drug, then i did without. I mostly only have done oral, but i feel safe on the drug and you should too.

  51. Rob

    1 – Truvada is a major arv. If people get prescriptions for it and don’t take it EXACTLY as prescribed EVERY SINGLE DAY, you’ll see a major increase in resistant strains of HIV. Ask your mom how many people are perfectly compliant with prescriptions.

    2 – Truvada has side effects.

    3 – Truvada is insanely expensive. Condoms are not.

    4 – Truvada works great in medical trials where everyone gets monthly counseling, testing, etc. Doesn’t mean it will work great in the real world.

    I don’t think it’s a moral issue at all. I just think prep is a dumb idea. .

  52. Jon

    Having taken antiretrovirals as PEP, I don’t suggest anyone taking them prophylactically. If one is making sure to communicate with partners about statuses and being honest, and most importantly being safe sexually with strangers, PrEP is not necessary. It ends up becoming a big Pharma ploy for alarmists or people who are sexually reckless, and have the money to sustain it. Long term, I think these VERY STRONG pills will damage your body, since the thing they’re supposed to be fighting against ISN’T THERE. We should be focusing on sexual education and communication, not frightened by scare tactics of those who aren’t informed. In the end this is another instance of Americans taking a costly, highly deleterious product in the name of “staying healthy.” Just wear a condom when having sex, get tested regularly, and stay sober-minded about your sexual experiences.
    Or just take an expensive pill everyday on the off-chance that you’ll not use enough lubricant, or you’ll not be adamant enough about condom usage, and relish in the comfort that you’re taking in something that does nothing but harm you for no reason.

  53. Command

    The issue here is that, you wanna eat your cake and have it. Just because you have health insurance under your parents doesn’t mean you can decide preventive medicine by your prerogative. Insurance are there for the time that you have major illness, not for popping vitamins or getting protein shake. If you think this is really important to you and you know you want to be making your sexual decision as adult, then be responsible to get the preventive medicine with your money. Will you ask her to buy you condoms and lube too under the insurance for your personal sexual pleasure?

  54. Anthony

    PrEP user here. Been on it for couple months now. The pills only cost me $5 a month (obamacare… health net.. silver plan). But I haven’t gotten any side effects. This pill is primarily used to treat positive people. But apparently someone discovered it has a bonus side for negative people. So I believe most of the side effect they mentioned are from studies of positive patients. But don’t worry about the whole promiscuity lecture. For example, ask any girl on birth control, they get the same exact lecture from their doctors also. So basically this is our gay version on birth control lecture. Lol. I’ll be honest though… before PrEP I was safe 90% of the time. Now like 80% of time. I still use protection when I can. I just don’t have a hernia afterwards when those “lost in the moment” happens. It’s really up to how you handle being on the pill or not. Just think of it this way… the pill protects you by 95% if taken 7 days a week. A 5% reason to still use condoms.

  55. Paolo

    This is an interesting article that could bring some answers to your questions:

    My two cents: in general terms, managing risk is neither intuitive nor straightforward. Think about germ-phobic people who clean everything and then develop illnesses due to lack of “good” bacteria in their environment.

    It is more about substituting one risk by another one, hopefully smaller but also different.

    Condoms are highly efficient to protect from HIV. If they break, you can get a prophylactic treatment, which is also highly efficient.

    The biggest risk I see in taking a daily pill (beside side effects and potential resistance) is the feeling of being safe, and take additional risks (including skipping a pill intake or forgetting a condom).

    And the feeling if safety is often dangerous. It’s sometimes better to confront a real risk and keep it present in mind so you put your rubber on (or get someone to do it) and never forget it.

    My two cents.

  56. Lee

    Every drug has side effects including Truvada. Such effects may not show up when you start the regimen. It is a regimen, meaning it only works when you take it as prescribed, EVERY day, without fail. As a group, HIV meds are tough on the body but HIV untreated is worst. Over the course of time, resistance to drugs begins to grow in the general population rendering them useless. Google the world wide crisis in the overuse of antibiotics and the ever increasing resistance of bacterial infections to any and all antibiotic script.

    Truvada in not cheap. It costs a great deal of money especially in the United States and the way insurance companies reimburse for such prescriptions. Millions of Americans are still without insurance or pay dearly for it. Imagine the costs increases for health insurance if the gay community with insurance as a whole becomes wide spread users of truvada as a PrEP. Sort of selfish don’t you think? I’m on my mom’s insurance so it’s free. Nothing is free. Increases is insurance costs are passed on all of insurance customers whether it employer paid or individually paid or through co-payments. I don’t dispute that HIV treatment costs more than truvada as a PrEP. But truvada is singularly expense prophylactic. But unlike a rubber it does not work if only taken before or after sex.



    Method of curing AIDS with tetrasilver tetroxide molecular crystal devices
    US 5676977 A

    SEARCH: U.S. PATENT 5676977


  58. Valley ranch

    I would suggest you invest in some high quality condoms like Magnums and wait 3 years for a report from USDA before starting PrEP. I’m sure the side affects are unknown at this point.

  59. Jay

    I am a 61 year old sexually active HIV- male. I was an early volunteer from the onset of AIDS around 1985/6 and was among the first tested for the HIV virus. I have done my best to keep abreast of developents in the prevention and treatment of AIDS. In the course of my post-1985 sexual live…I have had two condems break. In both instance I went on the monthllong prophylactic “cocktail.” I have repeatedly experienced intense anxiety concerning the possibility of becoming infected, and think the pill is well worth considering.

    Here are some suggestions that might be helpful in your decision making …(1) Go to to get a perspective on the statistical probability of aids transmission associated with specific practices…(2) Research thoroughly the possible side effects of the drug. (3) Research thouroghly the effectiveness of Truvada. If you become exposed to the semen of a partner with a high HIV viral load, does Truvada effeciently protect you from contracting AIDS?

  60. Dan

    I’m concerned about the effects of taking yet more pills. Yes, I’m 47. When I was a kid AIDS wrecked havoc in the gay community and further stigmatized being gay. But I heeded advice and used condoms. When my partner came along, I ditched them. I’m coming at this from the angle that the less unnecessary chemicals we put in our body, the better. And if u do want a life partner, bare sex becomes a special bond between you.

  61. DeWayne

    Ask your mom if she is opposed to girls getting the HPV vaccine. This is really the same thing. You should be able to have an honest talk about this with her without feeling like she is judging you about your sex life. It sounds like in this case “worrying mom” is getting in the way of “RN” in helping you make the right choice. Good luck.

  62. Paul

    I am one of the those older gays (50) who saw plenty around me die from HIV and AIDS…..especially during my formative gay years in the 80s when I too wanted to have a “free” life.

    My concern about this is two fold. First, taking any drug regularly is not something one should take so lightly. You are after all putting a chemical into your body….and in this case not necessarily for your survival. This should not be compared ever to “birth control pills.” Your mom will tell you that she would have rather not taken them daily either. But, in the straight world, contraception has often been left primarily in the hands of women, -especially in the 60s.

    The second thing that worries me about this drug is the false sense of “freedom” that it may give may gay people. This drug has not been proven to work. Do you really want to put your life at risk to experience barebacking? You want to experience this? Get yourself in a committed monogamous relationship, both get tested regularly for a year…….then bareback away!

    For Michael, if he’s using this drug as an “added” protection from HIV…..then GREAT!!!! Yes, condoms do break. Again, plenty of women are on birth control but still require their partners to wear a condom.

  63. Mark

    I am currently taking Truvada through the sources of a study program here in Houston and it really works I think it’ll be great for the community!

  64. Boris

    It’s not cheap. On e you use it, you have to. Online the therapy. Talk to you doctor. What you don’t want is to have your body become resistant by being on and off. I don’t think this is something that is either well thought out or known. Make sure you consult with an infectious disease doctor, though, not a general practitioner.

    As the previous post says, anything you can do to protect yourself is good. Just know why you’re doing it and consider the longer term effects other than those that may be made on “the heat of the moment”.

  65. Henri

    PrEP is good for the gay community because it could potentially prevent HIV transmission. Many studies have shown that using it for prevention is cost-effective, so it should be made widely available (unfortunately, not likely at this time).

    Will its use precipitate more unsafe sex? Will its use create more drug-resistant strains of HIV? Will the long term use of these prophylactic drugs cause cancer or liver failure? We don’t know the answer to these questions, but for now this tool has the potential to prevent disease that has been a major global health problem for more than three decades.

  66. tothy

    I think if a prep can be used as another tool to help in the prevention and safety protocals then it should be used. Every day the health officials tell us to get a flu shot or a vacine to help protect against hep a and b. Why is it so hard for people to accept a tool that can help fight the speard of any virus or disease?

  67. alphaiminogroup

    What is scary is that some guys think this is total protection from HIV infection. I ran into a guy on a4a that said he was not worried about his unprotected sex habits because he was on prep. What needs to be clarified is that the therapy has been shown to reduce your risk, its not a complete safe guard against infection. For someone who is routinely having unprotected sex with multiple partners, statistics dictate that they will eventually acquire HIV infection even if they are taking prep.

  68. David

    Doesn’t sound like u really researched the side effects. Truvada like other HIV meds do a number on your liver. It is careless, wrong and costly. A monthly supply of truvada can be up to $2500 to your insurance company. Slap on a condom and act like a responsible adult.

  69. myunclebob

    The simple answer:
    Get your own health insurance, and then do what you think is best for your health, and continue to be responsible as a human being. No drug, no dispensation should ever twist your thinking that it is “okay” to be irresponsible and practice, or perfect, unsafe sex

  70. Joey

    Extremely expensive and I feel they can do MUCH better as in a vaccination.

    The biggest hassle of having to take HIV meds is the fact you need to take it every single day.

    Now the fda approves a med that you need to take every single day, that is all but as expensive as the hiv meds themselves to assist in prevention?

    I personally find this insulting

  71. JC

    We are always looking for the easy way out, and for loopholes, so we can party like it’s 1978. Bad idea then, worse now and not just because of HIV.

    Better to save the VERY expensive, “long term effects unknown” HIV meds for those who have seroconverted and truly need them.

    What if you got on Truvada as PrEP and over years of use it became ineffective (for you)? First, the only way you’d know it was ineffective would be when you tested HIV+. Second, you would have already eliminated an important weapon in the management of HIV. And a further possibility is that those years of use as PrEP might have caused some damage to organs, immune system, etc. making your journey with HIV even more difficult.

    These drugs are miracles that have changed the entire conversation about HIV/AIDS but they are toxic. Necessary and highly recommended for those who are Poz, risks be damned. Not smart for those who are Neg when other methods of HIV prevention work for those who are diligent. So be diligent.

  72. Gay Tony

    It’s already begun. Young men in NYC (can’t speak for other places) are HIV negative, on PrEP and having bareback sex like crazy with known poz guys that they previously ignored. “Making up for lost time” is what they call it.

    And the worst part is, poz tops are now favoring neg bottoms because having a neg partner is some kind of status symbol (similar to black guys who only want to date white guys).

    It’s the gay equivalent of “the pill” for heteros that prevents pregnancy. It’s just a matter of time until the gays experience their first “happy little accident” equivalent (when the women lies about being on the pill and gets pregnant). Probably will happen when a poz guy is desperate for a partner who will refuse to date him because he’s poz.

    Unfortunately, both straights and gays by majority think pregnancy and HIV respectively are their only concerns. Other STDs are on the rise.

    This is why treatment-resistant gonorrhea out there now.

  73. Anthony

    Random fact… 32 states have hiv specific laws to criminalize positive people if they lie about their status prior to sex. And within some of those states, they are required to inform prior to sex regardless of being asked or not.

  74. Jim

    I think it is great that you are considering other options to prevent you from contracting HIV, but as mentioned in previous comments, Truvada, which does not provide 100% protection, should not be used as in place of condoms or other safer sex practices. It should be used in together with these safer practices, especially, since it does not protect against other STDs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis A, B or C. Be sure to get the advice of your doctor and be honest with him and her regarding your sexual history and practices.

    I was diagnosed HIV+ in 1987, and Hepatitis C positive in 2000. It is not fun taking anti-viral medications which the virus tends to become resistant to after a while and then you have to start a new regimen of medications. It is a vicious cycle while we wait for a real cure. I too am suspicious of the pharmaceutical companies perpetuating this cycle, so they can continue to produce medications to “treat” HIV and many other diseases instead of truly looking for cures.

    The choice is ultimately yours, and I wish you good luck and good health, whatever you decide to do.

  75. JASON

    This is a drug, taking any drug has consequences and side effects. Mark my words this is a lawsuit waiting to happen when we have a whole generation of 30 and 40 somethings who are dying from liver and kidney damage because they took what they thought was a magic pill.

    I am all for protecting yourself but along the way the Gay community needs to learn true self respect and none of the struggles we have faced seems to have done that yet.

  76. Scott

    As many people have already stated, Truvada is a great way to control viremia levels. However, the evidence of its effectiveness was at best iffy, and HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) have some horrible side effects. These side effects can range from insomnia and diarrhea to renal and liver failure. Truvada is especially known to cause renal dysfunction and lipodystrophy, as well all these meds are known to case insulin intolerance, meaning you can easily develop diabetes. These are all topics to bring up to your doctor that both Gilead and the CDC is not telling you. It is great they are trying to do something, since almost every single vaccine developed has failed miserably. I do not think this is the appropriate way. Other things to consider are this: the virus mutates from person to person and steals the glycolipids from your body to make its glycoprotein coat (the env gene) so everyone has a different virus. Also, the virus mutates quite quickly in response to medication and can adapt very well to these medications, which leads to resistance. Unless the person you are with knows this and their virus’ genotype, there isn’t really a way to know if they are resistant to truvada which would make this extremely expensive medication completely null and void. That being said, I am not completely against the thought of PrEP, but in my honest opinion as a scientist who researches HIV and HIV-related cancers, this is just too new and not well enough established for me to stand behind this move. There are too many unknowns: family history of kidney problems or diabetes, the person’s viral genotype and resistance(s), your bodies reaction to the drug.
    As for your mother, ultimately it is your body. So, YOU have the final say so in what you put into it. If after completely researching the issues and weighing out the pros and cons of this treatment, you decide to take Truvada, it is ultimately your decision. I will add this caveat (you never said you were going to have unsafe sex, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you aren’t): Assume everyone is positive regardless what they or their profile says and protect yourself.

    FYI: IF your partner is HIV + and using HAART appropriately (e.g. the person’s viral load is undetectable), it is EXTREMELY unlikely that the person will spread the virus. Again this is assuming, they take their medicine properly AND are undetectable. But this was the latest research as of last month.

  77. Scott

    To Micheal: Truvada has been around since the early 2000’s. It is a combination of two drugs that were developed before Truvada was around. As such we do know some of its long term effects as mentioned in the above post.

  78. Roughdick

    I am in my 40’s and don’t let ignorance stand in your way of TOTAL COMPLETE AND EXCELLENT HEALTH. No matter who its coming from. Some people have contracted this disease with the first outing into bareback sex, others have had condoms burst so there really is no guaranty against this disease outside of abstinence. Some gay men out there still lie about their status, while many others do not know their status. Free Will will always result in Free Sex, protect yourself at all cost and tell your mama to sit down and drink some lemonade or sumtin! Your Health is Your Wealth.

  79. Mike

    Really?! So I hear the younger generation of gays who literally have what could be the keys to the next gay sexual revolution in their hand, and you are WHINING about your Mommy not wanting to pay for it.
    Being someone who has dealt this having this disease for 25 years now and have buried more friends than I care to count; as someone who, along with all their friends, were guinea pigs for for the likes of you who actually want to find something to bitch about.
    Here’s an idean, how about you go get a job, get your own insurance and don’t expect your mother to pay and be responsbile for your promiscuous lifestyle. Even though you may not not feel that you are being irresponsible, that is the way she sees it and that is most common in her generation. You should show the woman who not only gave you life, but is apparently ‘accepting’ your gay lifestyle, but it sounds like she thinks it might be best not-openly discussed… Resecting her beliefs and not throwing another aspect of you life in her face.
    So be lucky you are born you are and have this opportunity before you, but yoy better damn well be thankful for those who have come and fallen before you to make this gift available to you, and most thnakful for the woman who gave you life and after learning you were gay, let you remain in your life… I can say one thing that we still need to work on a cure for is for ‘Over-Entitled, Ungrateful child syndrome’… Maybe Andrew here could sign up to be a trial patient for that breakthrough.


  80. Michael

    Having read some of the youths comments, as usually they know everything and adamant and stubborn about listening to “antiquated” advice… Not listening to your Mom as a rn, and the doctor id just stupid, they KNOW, they’ve seen first hand, the risks, the side effects, every day. But somehow, someway, people refuse to listen, until it’s too late, NO ONE is immune… We are fallible imperfect humans. If you have any examples of people getting away with not catching anything, ask their advice, but you are going to do what you want. You were warned and informed by people that love and care for you… If you want to play Russian Roulette with your health and life, do it alone, and don’t take anyone else with you. We as an entire society have become extremely selfish, and most of these posts and comments, validate that.

  81. HIvirusWithoutDrugs

    poz or not! everyone’s immune system should be naturally fortified and rightly strengthen. taking all the drugs kills your immune system and kills bad things. so your body does no work! you are chemically dependent. this is a pure violation of human health. enhance your body naturally and treat it well, and give it a shot of one lover for long term periods or life. your health does not depend of you being a sex god by having “wild” sex. have a lover and end the pharmaceutical owning your body. literally!

  82. Steve

    I am absolutely convinced that in a few years we’re going to see this rash of “well I didn’t contract HIV but Truvada gave me cancer so I’m suing Gilead for $3M” stories.

    For that reason — and, really, that reason alone — I don’t think PrEP is, at this time, a good idea. Maybe, once we know exactly what prolonged exposure to the drug does, it might be.

    A couple of other notes:

    1. Everyone is suddenly announcing Truvada as [nearly] 100% effective. What is seemingly being completely ignored is that the highest effectivity numbers are IN COMBINATION WITH CONDOMS. You don’t get to just take the drug and be done. The drug alone certainly helps, but it’s not the sole answer.

    2. PrEP targets HIV … only. It has no effect on syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, or any strain of hepatitis. That’s what condoms ALSO guard against.

  83. WIlo

    The only downside to using Truvada to prevent is that if you still get infected That’s one regimen less that you can use, and when used in your cocktail with another med it will keep u undetectable for many years

  84. Tj

    As an ICU nurse, it’s sad to to read that your mother has been a nurse for so long and still has that attitude toward sex and better protecting yourself, but it’s even worse for some of the comments posted.

    Take EVERY step that is possible to protect your health. Use condoms, talk to your partner, and use PReP if you are covered by an insurance plan. You never truly know someone else’s status unless you get tested with them, then stay by their side 24/7.

    The idea of someone trying to talk you out of using an available means to further protect yourself from HIV only shows the ignorance of that person.

  85. IN SC

    If I am not mistaken, Truvada is a drug they give pregnant HIV+ women to prevent passing the virus on to the fetus. I Have been taking Truvada since it was release, replacing Viread and Emtriva. It has been very successful for me.
    When I was diagnosed +, I actually had full blown AIDS and PCP Pneumonia, both lungs collapsing in the process. I had 42 t-cells to my name and a viral load of 486,000 PPM.
    In less than two years of taking my cockatail(I have been on the same once since day one)my viral load was undetectable and t-cells rapidly multiplied.
    Currently my vl is less than 20 and my CD4 runs from 850 to 1100. I fully support using the PrEP. I am convinced Truvada has been key in my success.
    I just hit my 10 year anniversary last month btw.

  86. Ishmail

    Me personally i think anyone who is conidering taking an HIV med to have unsafe sex with multiple partners should consider changing their sexual behavior. i recently have gotten GARDASIL vaccine along MENINGITIS which are highly recommended among gay men to help fight viral infection and even HIV .talk to your Dr

  87. Frank

    I think it’s amazing that so many guys on a hook-up site like A4A are sending such sex-negative messages. This topic is one that should be getting a lot more press and discussion in our community, but many are afraid to bring it up due to the kinds of negative, guilt-inducing comments found here. If a gay person can’t talk openly in what is supposed to be a supportive environment, what hope is there for having a frank discussion with a cold, clinical doctor?

    Another issue worth discussing is how often people here inject the price of the drug into the discussion. What has that really to do with it? Of course, if you can’t pay for it the decision is made – But my point is that the decision should be made based on the medical advantages/disadvantage, not the cost. If we waited to buy a car or a house until we felt we could easily pay for it a lot fewer people would be on the freeway or mowing lawns… If you and your doctor agree that this is right for you, then paying for it is a next step -it shouldn’t enter into the discussion until that point.

    As a 51-year-old gay man I have been though the AIDS crisis from the beginning. I have watched fear take over people’s lives. I’m not a psychologist, but I think it’s reasonable to consider whether some of us have substituted a reactionary moral code to cope with that fear. It’s so much easier to live with “that’s wrong” than “I’m terrified of that”… I believe it’s a form of Stockholm syndrome.

    Finally, many people here are saying “do more research” and “we have no idea what the long-term effects will be”. That’s simply not true. PrEP has been around for some time now. The side effects are generally mild and short-term, and studies show that taking PrEP doesn’t significantly alter people’s behavior. The real questions, to be discussed with your doctor, are your sexual practices, number of partners, etc. If you’re at high risk, your doctor will very likely recommend PrEP. If you’re at generally lower risk, your doctor will probably advise against it (for now). With all we have learned about HIV in the last 30 years, we haven’t stopped -or even put a dent in -this epidemic. Safer sex helps, but it isn’t foolproof and it isn’t used 100% of the time by anybody. PrEp should be an informed medical decision -not a moral or economic choice.

  88. GARY

    Frequent references are made in above comments to high cost of Truvada. When does it become a generic drug, and how will that affect the cost? A number of HIV drugs are manufactured in India as generics for Third World countries. Is generic Truvada among them?

  89. Mike

    Hello Men: First Consider once HIV speciates as it does then Travada is no good and millions can lose their life a sa result. is rough on the liver and can kill you. 3 UNDETECTABLE does not mean negative and that does not give you a free reign to have unprotected sex. 4 Promiscuity needs to stop … period and men need to quit lying and playing games just because they are too selfish… get a hand job and be safe. And lastly quit putting money into the pharmaceutical companies pockets…they are ripping all of us off and not just with HIV drug. And yes there are other STD’s to be concerned with. Did one ever consider the fact that CURE should be pursued and not prevention. Government, Pharmaceutical Companies and HMO’s….one consistent mission ..make a profit !!! and the result…eventual drug failure due to over exposure…and everyone got rich at your expense of Life. Common guys…get your minds out of your butt crack and start being a part of humanity. I have never seen a bunch of self absorbed individuals in my entire life …and they are called GAY !!! You have been deceived and still won’t learn. Nothing has changed in behavior…only drug companies have capitalized on our own failures. Shame on US !!!! GAY…name needs to be changed to something else. Sorry. Being Gay I get it…95 % don’t even try..they discriminate…idolize the penis, etc. and no pill can change that. Try God..He loves us…each and every one. We need to get it right once and for all.

  90. Michael

    YAY! DEFINITELY YAY! It is expensive but so worth it. If sexually active men and women were taking prep meds it could almost eradicate HIV by curbing infection rates. You only live once, people want to experience sex. Sexuality is a beautiful thing and shouldn’t be shamed for it. Telling people not to have sex to avoid HIV infection is like telling them to abstinence is the answer to pregnancy. Its not gonna happen. We need to make the meds affordable, it is the drug companies that grossly overcharge for the meds. We need to change that.

    If it was sold for the price it cost to make everyone could afford to have a bottle in their possession, or obtain one at free clinics, for those times you were unsafe and unsure, and HIV would die off.

  91. bluecollarcub

    Do what you think is right for you. You can be part of the problem or part of the solution. I practice safe sex and have open conversations with my sexual partners. This still doesn’t prevent the occasional condom breaking. Or the scandalous individuals that will still lie about their status. I don’t care if the guy just tested a month ago, their result is only good until their next encounter. I decided PrEP was an additional layer of protection. I have not have any side effects. My primary physician at the veterans hospital was initially against it only because he wasn’t comfortable with prescribing and I’d be the first for him. PrEP needs to be taken every day to be most effective. The San Francisco Aids Foundation was an integral part of initial case studies on the left coast. They have phamplet to better inform yourself. My doctor used this and CDC guidelines to prescribe. I have friends that pay upwards to $250/mo I am fortunate to copay very little through the veterans hospital. Do your research… everyone will tell you the pros and con’s but it will ultimately come down to what works for you and your individual situation. Good luck.

  92. Mike

    Take it the side effects are minimal and anything that would help sow down transmission of this is great Mom will either have to accept it or not she probably won’t find out unless you or your doc says something.. He can’t… so it is up to you.

  93. Michael #9001

    Since being diagnosed with HIV 3 years ago, I have been on Truvada as well as Isentress and was put into “Undetectable” status within one week of starting these drugs. I have only one side effect and that is lack of appetite. I consider this a plus, not a side effect.

    I think that people need to remember that HIV is a living creature that was created by the same “god” that created us all. It’s not a battle of sex or safe sex but rather a battle against another organism. The drugs we have are just tools that we have to do so. Sex should not be feared and the tools we use to battle them should not be feared as well.

  94. anthony

    If you are Hiv neg don’t take this medicine. we haven’t cured athlete’s foot yet it would be stupid to get addicted to meds you don’t need. use condoms and get tested regularly.

  95. Tancredo

    I went to all the commentaries and there are very valid points. Any method of prevention of HIV is very welcome everywhere however the catch is in the cost and not everybody can’t afford that even with insurance. And what that cause? Higher payments in further years. So at the end is a pharma company gain and a customer loss. But with your case just my advice is go wisely and justify your mother why you need that PrEp.

  96. Seaguy

    To me any tool that one can add to their current arsenal to keep from getting hiv is a good thing. Condoms fail, humans slip up, so this is added protection. Those who see something wrong or sinister about that are obviously not educated enough to understand the whole issue and how the cdc/fda came to the decisions they have on PrEP.

  97. Seaguy

    go away you pathetic troll who has to hide behind “anonymous” when posting or should I say shouting since it was in all caps such slanderous blatant lies;

    May 16, 2014 at 15:26

  98. Steve

    Couple of observations. Lots of opinions not a lot of facts. Truvada is safe very few side effects. Bone density and kidney rarely. Safe sex is a myth. Monogamous relationships and 100% safe sex practice do not occur. For newly infected with high nadir cd4 short time frame from sero-conversion to viral suppression and 100% cART compliance HIV is no big deal. Just a pill a day. So stop the histrionics and drama. Life with hiv is well just like life was b4 just an extra pill in the morning with ur coffee.

  99. Jim

    These people saying that PReP will bring out your inner slut are more than likely the same ones that were trollong in the ’60 when the Pill came about.
    Ask your mother if she was on the pill when she was younger, ask if she was out slutting around, or was it just in case something happened? I say do it, get on the PReP program, that one Truvada is a hell of a lot less harmful that the drugs I have been taking for 7 years to treat HIV.

  100. Stephen

    The Hypocrisy and ignorance of some of these comments from people are just baffling to me. Its funny how a simple form of added safety for you and your partners gets blown out to you somehow must be a bareback cum dump at the bathhouses on drugs. People are stupid Michael. If you can afford it and want the added safety then go for it. Its your body nobody else’s. Ignore the hate and stupidity of half these people and listen to the reason in the

  101. Ray

    The more protection the better.

    As the up swing of barebacking has skyrocketed over the last
    Decade Dont u thingk it best for those that will not
    Change their behavior due to their hedonistic greed and ignorance
    Not to mention their own self worth
    For them to at least have the option to prevent further spread of HiV even if it is may be a short term solution.

    Honestly I been on Prep for nearly 2 yes now.
    I does wprk . however it has decreased my condom use from
    80-90% to nearly 0% condom usage.
    And guess what ?living here in SF for 17 yesnow
    I have had Syphilis 3 times I’m the last 2 yes and never before I stared Truvada. Yes I am being ignorant…

    However Iam nno longer HIV+ poz phobic.
    There is no stigma in my mind that poz guys
    Are to be feared nor discriminate them from
    The community. I believe truvada has helped in
    Uniting 2 groups Neg and Poz in a very positive light
    Truvada is a step in the right direction

    Will ignorant or perhaps careless guys out there (including myself)
    Barebacking anyways
    Dont u think it best to have Truvada protection than not.

  102. Realist

    If there was a 100% effective vaccine available tomorrow, the same “assumed increase in promiscuity” argument would still exist – not really a pertinent reason to steer people away from something that could keep them alive until one does actually exist. They should just get as much information from professionals (plural) prior to making a decision as to whether its right for them.

  103. Matthew

    The problem with this medicine is that what its intended for and what its being used for are very different. Its intended for use as a back up for those already using condoms but for those moments when condoms fail. Anyone I know that is on it is now living some modern day Caligula. No condoms ever, many many partners. The fear is that this will then create a drug resistent HIV or possibly the next big super std that will wipe out masses of the population.

  104. Sweet_Brown

    To all the guys out there saying “I’m on it and it really works!”:

    How do you know this? Are you seeking out HIV positive partners and having BB sex with them to see what happens? Please explain because I would like to know how this is being quantified. I’m sure the poster would like to know also.

  105. David B

    The annual cost of one year of PrEP could otherwise immunize thousands of kids against polio, smallpox, measles. In a world of limited resources, especially with so many without adequate preventive care, it seems hard for society to justify the costs. Safe sex works to prevent HIV transmission, and we ALL pay for the costs of PrEP through higher insurance premiums and related costs to government. Your $250 per month copay is but a fraction of the actual cost to us all.

    I am not saying that you should not go onto PrEP, but I am saying that there are ways of preventing transmission that are safer, more reliable and far less costly, and that research to prevent/cure HIV should be the focus when there is competition for resources.

    I’ve been HIV+ for 30+ years – and have NEVER, EVER lapsed in my determination to ALWAYS use safer sex techniques.

  106. North Side Otter

    There does seem to be some side effects… Like not proof reading your comments, for grammar and logic… Saying “Abstinence doesn’t prevent the spread of AIDS” alone, and equating that with pregnancy is just stupid. Do you really comprehend at all, what you are saying? You can avoid the cost of drugs by changing your behavior, but no, that’s a little too simplistic. If you don’t have any self respect, and fell the need to risk your own life and health, so be it, just don’t take anyone with you. Sure, it’s a biological function. But if masturbation is boring to you, you might not be doing it correctly.

  107. Billy

    I am 32 and think sleeping around is stupid. I am sex positive which mean I know you are going to have sex, but all the same rules apply as they always have. Prophylaxis does not stop it from happening. I take meds to prophylax my migraines, I had 2 last week, case in point.
    You should be using common sense when having sex. Get to know the person before just taking their dick up your ass or you putting yours in theirs. Seems odd to say on a hook up sight, but I still grill people, and talk to them at length before I go there, then I always play safe. Why because HIV is bad, the treatment for it sucks from what I have seen, it never goes away, it will get worse, and dying from a common cold which turns into pneumonia and drowns you from the inside out does not appeal to me, and yes, it can still happen.
    As others have states there are other STDs. Herpes does not go away and can get up inside you if you are a bottom. This has been shown to increase the trend of developing cancer in your butt. Colon cancer seems like a bad idea. Then there are warts which may or may not go away, and the treatment is having warts burnt off your penis and balls. That sounds like fun.
    Be safe, use common sense, do not take a drug you do not need to take if you are being safer, and don’t be a skank ass hoe. Sorry for saying it, but just being willing to have sex comes with the responsibility of keeping yourself and others safe. You could catch something and spread it before even knowing you have it, and then what kind of person does that make you?
    And if your mom did not raise you that way have some respect for your mother. She is an RN so she knows what can happen to people to play Russian Roulette with their health. Let alone her own son. For God’s sake man. And then there is always the potential for something new and worse to show up, then what, you are spending thousands of dollars to prevent the disease which is not even as bad as the new one. Just be safe. Sheesh.

  108. xpl0re

    Assuming you’re over 18, you’re old enough to make your own medical decisions and I applaud you for considering to take PrEP. Talking to your parents is a good idea but ultimately it’s up to you. What you do with your body is still your decision, even if you’re taking the meds, and only you can control that. Personally, I choose to still practice safer sex in addition to taking Truvada daily. There is one special person that I’ll bareback with but I trust him. And just in case he slips up or the condom breaks when I’m with someone else, I have the Truvada as the safety measure.

    Good luck!

  109. mark patterson

    I FINE IT ASTOUNDING,IT’S BREATHTAKING STUPIDITY,THE “”ORIGIN” PROVEN HOW AIDS BECAME THE KILLER IT IS. worked v.a. medical center 34yrs,retired,2005. knew,talked to allot of doctors,nurses,THE REAL FRONT LINE CAREGIVERS,thought every one knew,gays most of all,IGNORANT STILL.back in Africa,poachers and allot of Africans shot,cooked,and ate CHIMPANZEE MEAT,ILLEGAL THERE AS HELL,BUT WE ALL KNOW “”ILLEGAL IS NOT ALWAYS ENFORCED””,POACHERS CONSTANTLY SHOT,AND COOKED CHIMPANZEE MEAT,NOT ALWAYS COOKED THROUGHLY,and so it begins,ONLY CHIMPANZEE AND MAN HAVE ALMOST “”IDENTICAL GENE CHAINS,ONLY A FEW TINY DIFFERANCES(SO MUCH FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE MAYBE WE CAME FROM APES,no other plant,or animals come this close,like say we have 400 chain dna chain spiral,the chimpanzee has like 395,TRUE,HISTORY HAS PROVEN THIS,AND chimpanzee get,and carry a hiv/aids illness,which DOES NOT EVER KILL THEM,kind of like our smallpox,well,scientists proved,many who died early,poachers,and MANY YOUNG MEN WHO ALSO WERE MALE PROSTITUTES IN KENYA,NIGERIA,ECT,AND THUS GOT CARRIED INTO GAY WORLD,when the “chimpanzee aids illness” got mutated in HUMAN BEINGS IT BECAME DEADLY,AND SPREAD FROM DAAH,, “”ANAL SEX(MOST EASIEST,AND DRUG USE,BLOOD CROSSING”,and also IT WAS,IS KNOWN A “”QUANTITY,LIKE A ‘”SEMEN LOAD,OR A TEASPOON,NEAREST “”INJECTED,PUT INSIDE THE HUMAN BODY,WHERE IT IS EASILY CARRIED INTO BLOODSTREAM” also why,(exempting the mad dentist in florida who DELIBERATELY CONTAMINATED PATIENTS WITH SEVERELY INFECTED,AND BLOODY INSTRUMENTS,( HE WAS MAD AS HELL HE GOT AIDS,AND SOME EVIL ONES COULD,WOULD INFECT WITH VENGENCE,orally,this “”only case” of oral aids infection,why,not more,THE MOUTH DOES NOT ALLOW EASY ENTRANCE TO BLOODSTREAM,AND THOSE WHO “”SWALLOW””.IT IS IMMEDIATELY CARRIED TO THE STOMACH,WHERE ACIDS WHICH CAN ETCH GLASS,DESTROY THE VIRUS,wish more people would wake up,SO MUCH FOR THE “”DEVIL SO CALLED CHRISTIANS” SAYIN IT WAS A ‘”GAY”” DISEASE,AND THE MONKEY/HUMAN CHROMOSOME ALMOST IDENTICAL MATCH,MUST BURN THEIR EVIL BUTTS,also needle sticks at the v.a.,the nurses literally laughed when I asked””you nurses ever get stuck w aids needles”,two burst laughing,””all the time honey,allot of these guys are way out of it,fevers,ect,and dozens of times” she giggled,i asked do you get tested,ect,she said,honey,eh,been 14years this going on,first year,yes,now,what for,it’s not easily transferred,i was enlightened,and stunned

  110. bigbottomdad

    There is no such thing as safe sex, only safer sex. I have been described as poz-friendly, that being said, as a bottom I approach every sexual encounter as though my potential partner is infected with an std. It’s the same for me as using universal precautions as a health care provider. Physical barriers such as condoms, using lube with spermicide, being prepared for sex as a bottom by cleaning out beforehand, have kept me std free so far. All of these are inexpensive and unless you’re allergic to latex or one of the ingredients in the lube there are no side affects. Replacing common sense and personal responsibility with a pill is certainly one option. If you take Truvada as a preventive, will it be as effective if you need to take it or a similar drug post infection?

  111. BearOKC69

    GREG: wrote “HIV negative since 4/22/2012″, or “DDF since 1/6/2013″…WTF?

    What they may have been saying is they have REMAINED that way since that date (not that they tested Neg then and havent been tested since)

  112. Morgan Freeman

    Sounds pretty slutty to me. But then again this blog always is. Pls it already sounds like you know what you are doing is wrong, you just don’t have the moral fortitude to have morals

  113. Matt

    1. The protection rate is actually very low – 44% *IF* everyone taking it does so every single day with missing it. The protection rate in reality is as low as 2.3%
    2. Trial data shows clearly that FORTY-FIVE people need to take it to prevent just ONE of them being infected.
    3. Every one of those 45 people would need constant monitoring for the rest of their lives for a) infection with ‘HIV’ b) tests on their liver and kidney function because of the know serious long-term toxic side effect of one constituent drug, Tenofovir, and c) constant testing of their bone mineralisation because of the known serious long term toxic side effect resulting in bone demineralisation causing fractures and breaks with the slightest fall or bump.

    So a big answer would be NO.

  114. Aaron

    I would have looked my mother in the face and without blinking, called her a whore. She didn’t use a condom when i was conceived. And gay men are whores. That fact will not change. Hell even a few “straight” men are as well. My advice would be to educate yourself and make a plan for your self to be and remain safe and disease free. Then follow that plan and don’t pay attention to what other people have to say about what you’ve chosen. Opinions are like assholes, their everywhere and they all stink. When someone asks you what you’ve chosen to do tell them straight up “It’s none of your business.” Just because that person is your mother or father doesn’t mean you have to give up control to them. You’re an adult who’s realized health issues at such a young age, tell them to mind their own damn business since your old enough to make decisions for yourself. If they stop your insurance coverage then get a job and get it yourself like the rest of the world.

  115. Scott

    The CDC came out Wednesday and recommended that people at risk for HIV should consider using Truvada to help avoid infection.
    It is kinda the same reason that people get a flu shot, a series of Hep shots or a pneumonia vaccine to help PREVENT getting a disease. It is in no way a guarantee that you won’t get it, but it lessens the risk that you might. Truvada has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90 percent.
    The drug manufacturer says the cost is approximately $15,000 per year and is covered by many insurance policies.
    To be 100% sure of not getting it, abstinence is the only thing. To lessen the chances of getting HIV then follow the safe sex guidelines. I think we all know that abstinence is a one in a million chance. LOL But it seems like most guys I am acquainted with are always safe, but having another first line of defense makes sense.
    People are already making assumptions that the PrEP will cause people to have unprotected sex. There was a study that showed that using a PrEP did not make guys more likely to have unprotected sex.
    According to the CDC, “PrEP should never be seen as the first line of defense against HIV. It has only been found to be partially effective when provided in combination with regular HIV testing, condoms, and other proven prevention methods. PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections. Men who have sex with men should continue to:
    1.Use condoms consistently and correctly
    Get tested to know their HIV status and that of their partner(s)
    2.Get tested – and treated if needed – for other sexually transmitted infections that can facilitate HIV transmission, such as syphilis and gonorrhea
    3.Get information and support to reduce drug use and risky sexual behavior
    4.Reduce their number of sexual partners
    5.Taking PrEP daily is critical. This study found that PrEP provided a high level of protection only to those who took the pills regularly; protection was very low among those who did not rigorously adhere to the daily regimen.”

  116. Carlo

    Here in Chicago, there are programs to make this medication more readily available and affordable, most commonly through the Howard Brown health center at Sheridan and Irving park.

    What scares me is thinking that others will or do think they are fully prevented from disease if they take this pill when there are other stds affecting the community. I’ve read profiles on this and other hook up apps stating that they prefer bare/anything goes/on prep. Having worked at a pharmacy in boystown, I’m well aware that hiv/aids isn’t all that can hurt us. Be safe!

  117. Commguy7

    I see people saying “I think all negative men should be taking it” and I say to myself “Who’s going to pay for it?” I can’t afford it. And I sure as hell am not going to ask the government to pay for it by putting ANOTHER burdensome tax on the people.

  118. Christo13

    I really appreiciate this discussion. Of course the regular porn posts are fun, but this is a real, grounded, and important conversation that affects all of us. Thank you to all of the guys who have put very valuable, insightful, well-researched and well-thought-out information on here. I am learning a lot about the tangible realities of transmission and protection, and this is acting as a wake-up call for me to become even more conscious of my sexual choices.

    Aside from this very valuable information and guidance on protection and transmission, I have to say that I deeply agree with what one of the posts said – that what we as gay men most need to learn is genuine self-respect. I have been examining homosexuality, coming out, etc. from a psychological, sociological standpoint. It seems that no matter how “free” we think we become in our sexual expression or identity, there is always a pink elephant in the room. And this is the trauma that we have experienced being homosexual men in a completely hetero-centric world.

    I am interested in healing this kind of wounding at the core level – discovering true self-respect and self-esteem through the process – as opposed to trying to cover up our old wounds, and hidden, unaddressed, lifelong fears, inadequacies, and shame through sexually acting out – often in highly addictive and unsafe ways. I believe it’s true – that while we have found some degree of liberation and comfort through our Gay Pride efforts, we still carry subconscious and unconscious programming that cuts us off from our own true dignity. Being able to have sex with whomever we choose at any given time, in any given way, is not a substitute for facing and addressing these pains.

    Examining ourselves at this root level, acknowledging these pains – and the deeper, unfulfilled longings that we carry – I believe this fills us with a sense of self-respect and dignity, which is the best protection of all. When I feel good about myself, am conscious of my life, my body, my world, I am not drawn to things that are harmful for me. I am avoid things that would cause harm, and move toward those that will bring me lasting happiness – with others who are on a similar trajectory. I send out my love and respect to every gay man, and my deep desire that we wake up together, into greater and greater self-respect and the true freedom which comes from that.

  119. hardtopftl

    Matt, I don’t know where you get your information, but the presentation I recently attended with health leaders and study designers indicates MUCH better protection, up to 99% WITH 100% COMPLIANCE. If you don’t take the drug DAILY, the protection level is lower. This is another tool in the protection arsenal. We know people are not using condoms, and even when they do, they don’t always work. Please re-check your information, because what I am hearing and reading from medical professionals says your info is wrong.

  120. Steve

    Steve (the “other” Steve) – Sorry, but there’s some fallacy to the notion of “eh, it’s just a pill a day.”

    It’s just a pill a day … assuming you have health insurance or, if you don’t you live somewhere with HIV services, and — most importantly — respond to meds like Truvada or Sustiva (and not everyone does).

  121. Emilio

    The main problem that I have with this as a prevention method, is that nowhere in the medical literature it states the safe term to take this drug. Short-term use creates side-effects that usually go away on their own and depends with the person. However, I would be way more concerned with the long term side effects of taking an HIV med that you don’t actually need. I read that side effects could include, kidney damage, liver damage, hyperlipidemia, changes in body fat. Exactly what is the safe length of using this as a preventive tool? I don’t think it should substitute condoms are a practical method of HIV prevention?

  122. darryl

    This is a very sensitive issue, so an answer of yay or nay makes me nervous. We all have real choices to make sexually, so adding the choice to take Truvada is a very important decision. Talking to your Doctor, finding out the risks, side effects, and benefits will help you decide if it’s right for you. We all want that magic pill to make it all better, but we have to use our brains to make it work. Using this Pill as a means to protect you from STi/STD or HIV is short sided, so continue your means of protection with Condom Use. Then you’re good to go.

  123. Jack

    To each his own, and everybody has the right to do what they want to do with their body and is also thus responsible for that at the end of the day. I personally would NOT use PreP; the reasons being:

    1) It might be more effective than condoms; but this drug has been around only for a very short while. No long term side effects on the human body are known and I refuse to take something that might/might not have long term effects on my health.

    2) From my personal experience, using PreP makes a lot of people think themselves to be invincible; and they think barebacking is OK. That helps breed other STIs, even certain ones without any cure and as life changing as HIV (herpes being one of many). People taking PreP defend this point by saying that one of the requirements of PreP is that you get tested for EVERYTHING every 3 months. That really does not stop you from catching something in that 3 month span and spreading it to others. If our community has not yet realized the perils of bareback sex after all that we have gone through, I don’t know when it will.

    3) Condoms break; true enough. If you have had a condom break and are concerned, you can always get PeP. If taken within 72 hours, it is realy effective.

    4) To me taking Prep is like leading a life of an HIV positive individual ( taking all the drugs and going through side effects, if any) so that you do not get HIV and lead the life of an HIV + individual. Kinda counterproductive ( in my opinion). Of course an HIV positive person goes through a lot in life other than just daily medications or possible side effects !

    To me it seems PreP is ideal for only two categories of people:

    1) The ultra secure ones; who will have PreP and use condoms to have a double layer of protection but how many of us really do that?

    2) The only people for whom PreP truly makes sense are HIV negative individuals in a sero-discordant relationship. It really takes a lot of burden off the minds of magnetic couples.

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