April 17, 2014
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a proven concept. Regardless of whether opponents want to admit it or not, "bio-medical prevention" IS the key to reducing new-HIV infections in the highest-risk groups where previous risk-reductions methods have failed. Today, thanks to new research and science, we have a new method that can help those who are at the highest risk. We do not need more data; we do not need more trials to look at efficacy and safety ... PrEP is already a PROVEN concept. Anyone who says otherwise either doesn't know how to read data, is pushing their own agenda, or they are simply regurgitating the views of other people who have no clear understanding of the topic.
It is really interesting that those who are screaming the loudest in opposition of PrEP are people who could have benefitted the most from its use, had it been in existence. These same HIV-positive men say that condoms are easy to use and so effective. Then why are you HIV-positive dude? Immaculate infection?
I'm not laying blame, what I am saying is take a moment to step down off your moral-horse and contribute to an actual resolution rather than perpetuating a flawed strategy of "condoms-only." If condoms alone could end HIV then it would be over by now. Condom use, although it has been beat into our heads, seems to be an example of "Do as I say, not as I do." Since when does being an HIV-positive gay man give us authority over those who are negative and the things that can keep them healthy?
At a certain point, HIV-positive men who feel it necessary to dictate the availability of PrEP as a tool to those who are negative need to simply stop. If you are an HIV-positive man railing against PrEP, you are no different than men attempting to dictate the sexual and reproductive health of women. What is even more disturbing is that some opponents of PrEP pervert a once-authentic argument regarding efficacy and safety. And when presented with data to address this they choose to dismiss it.
Our community fought in the streets, stormed the FDA and forever changed how drugs are studied and made available to those that need them. Is the message now going to be, we will only advocate when the medications save our lives, however we won't fight on behalf of prevention? HIV-negative individuals have a right to have access to medications that can assist them with staying negative. If you are HIV-positive and an opponent of PrEP, consider how you would react if someone was attempting to block/impede/stop/derail a drug that could keep you healthy. Now realize that in your opposition you have become that person. Congratulations!
Read Aaron's blog My HIV Journey.