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PrEP and self-care?

Sep 17, 2017

Can a person not give a shit about themselves, or perhaps even hate themselves, do suicidal quantities of recreational drugs, not give a fuck what they eat, or even if they eat, get fucked by as many guys as humanly posiible without any knowledge of their HIV status or sexual history, and then just take a pill and expect to stay healthy?

Response from Mr. Jacobs

I suppose that would depend on your definition of "healthy." What PrEP can do, and does do, is prevent that person from acquiring HIV by over 99%. It does one thing, and one thing only, but it does that one thing extremely well.

PrEP does not protect from mental illness, drug abuse, suicidality, self-loathing, homophobia, or any other STIs. But in the context of helping someone who may be coping with all of these, it is a harm-reduction tool that allows someone to take care of this one aspect of their sexual health. And sometimes, when someone takes one step toward better self-care, it leads to more step such as therapy, recovery groups, etc.

Your question saddens me as "hate" is a very strong word, yet tragically universal in LGBT communities. It is an intense emotion that has to be learned. By the time someone is suicidal, that feeling has been reinforced so many times in so many ways that they feel their body, mind, and spirit is not worth caring for. But if they're willing to take PrEP, or do anything affirmative toward preserving their life, then there's often an opportunity to make change in other areas as well.

I do hope that this answer helps you, or someone you know, to have greater compassion, empathy, and respect for those suffering around you.



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