At Sex Parties, PrEP Takes HIV Disclosure Off the Table

PrEP is changing the landscape of sex parties and other group sex events, helping to break down barriers between people who are positive and negative -- and helping people who are HIV-negative stay that way.

PrEP Sex PartyBefore PrEP, and the widespread understanding of the effectiveness of treatment as prevention (TasP), group sex events oftentimes mandated condom use. Or, if barebacking was allowed, were only open to HIV-positive people, said Christian Grov, PhD, an associate professor at the CUNY School of Public Health who conducts research on the sexual health of gay and bisexual men. Now, it seems the rules may be changing.

"It must have been a couple of years ago now that I remember receiving an email from one of the many sex party listservs that I follow. It said that with PrEP, and treatment as prevention, people can be protected from HIV in ways that are not necessarily bound by condom use. This was for a sex party that used to mandate condom use only or risked being kicked out without a refund. The group said, 'We're going to relax that. If you aren't using condoms then it's understood that you are either on PrEP or virally suppressed. And we want everyone to know, though, that it's your responsibility to protect yourself and your partners.' It was quite a powerful statement," said Grov.

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