Please answer or I'll steal your boyfriend (Part 2)
Oct 20, 2008
Hi Dr Bob. Thank you for your support and everything you do with this site and your foundation. I have accepted that I am HIV negative (woo hoo) so I am not going to get another test done. I do have a concern, however. I was talking to my friends and sisters and brothers and every single one of them have never heard of or knew that PEP exists. I have a sister in high school who is going through her sex education course and the teacher had someone who was HIV positive talk to the class. When my sister made mention of PEP to the teacher and the speaker none of them knew what she was talking about! How can we talk about HIV/AIDS Awareness when 100% of the people I talked to were not aware of a PEP treatment (myself included until I came to your site). Is it because it is had to find, not covered by insurance, very expensive? I live in a city were the statistics for new HIV cases are EXTREMELY high. Everyone is teaching abstinence and condoms but we live in a world were humans are having sex with ANIMALS so there needs to be another way to get the message across to people. I guess if people knew about PEP, there may be a decrease in HIV infections. Just my thoughts.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Sex education in the U.S. has been severely hampered by the Bush Administration's disastrous abstinence-only sex education policy. We need science-based, age-appropriate sex education returned to the school curriculum as soon as possible. The best way to accomplish this is by electing Barrack Obama and Democrats in November. If kids were taught how to protect themselves from STDs, including HIV, there would be very little need for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP should not be difficult to access. All emergency rooms, urgent care clinics, STD clinics and HIV physician specialist offices should be well equipped to provide PEP. It is covered by insurance. Without insurance coverage, it can be fairly expensive, depending on which drugs are selected for the PEP regimen. PEP should only be prescribed for significant HIV exposures, as there is some risk involved in taking potent antiretrovirals. It's not a simple "morning after" pill. It's a full 28 days of very potent antiretrovirals that can have significant side effects and toxicities.
Regarding your family and friends' not knowing about PEP (and perhaps other aspects of HIV prevention), this is a perfect situation for you to "pay it forward." That means take what you learned here and teach others! Help disseminate accurate information about HIV awareness, education, prevention, testing and treatment!
As for folks "having sex with animals," you must live in one of those square red states in the center of the country.
Finally, for you: WOO-HOO!
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