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New HIV Prevention Pill

A Video Blog

July 22, 2014


According to the CDC (2014) Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV to help prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill contains two medicines that are also used, in combination with other medicines, to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, PrEP can help stop the virus from establishing a permanent infection.

In 2012 the Food and Drug Administration approved the HIV prevention measure, but it is still not widely known. PrEP is a one pill a day named Truvada, which is produced in California from Gilead Sciences. Severe and sometimes fatal lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood) and liver problems have occurred with Truvada. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include unusual weakness or tiredness; unusual muscle pain or cramps; fast or difficult breathing; stomach pain with vomiting, nausea, feeling cold, especially in the arms and legs; dizziness or light-headedness; fast and/or irregular heartbeat. Symptoms of liver problems include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, nausea, and/or stomach pain.

BUT NOT TO WORRY: An insider has told me that researchers are developing another 1 pill a day HIV prevention regime that is less harmful to humans for consumption.

This is a great breakthrough. I'm very glad for this as long as we put things into perspective. This discovery can help us get to zero and can help the gay community combat HIV and hopefully we will never be put down by HIV again.

"If something comes along that's better than condoms, I'm all for it, but Truvada is not that," said Michael Weinstein, President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Let's be honest: It's a party drug." After his reaction to the drug many people were in uproar and wanted him to resign as president of AHF. "There's an element in the gay community that espouses 'anything goes,' that is for sexual freedom and not giving an inch," he said. "But demonizing me or AHF isn't going to shut us up." I think I understand what he was trying to say, but I don't think it was the best way to put it.

The concerns that stem from this are that the gay community will use this as an excuse to have more sex without condoms. I don't think that will be the case but I do understand his concern. The concern that people will stop using condoms and use Truvada is a big concern amongst doctors as well. They have started to see the beginnings of people asking for a prescription for it. One major concern is that when using Truvada for HIV prevention people will forget about the things it doesn't prevent, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, vaginitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), human papillomavirus (HPV) or genital warts, hepatitis, trichomonas etc. I don't say this to scare you but reality is reality. #thetruth.

AND FOR THE RECORD, I'm in FULL support for PrEP.


Reference

CDC (2014), CDC Fact Sheet: Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention.

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This article was provided by TheBody.com.

See Also
More News and Research on HIV Medications for HIV Prevention


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Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own blog and Web site, and he's even on YouTube. And who can blame him? Only 30, he already has an incredible story to tell. Justin admits he used to live "a very dangerous life," but since his diagnosis three years ago, the former heavy drinker and drug user has turned his life around.
Photo credit: Don Harris


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