July 24, 2013


I often disagree with my friend Michael Lucas. But if the statistics he quotes are anywhere near correct and 58% of gay men aren't using condoms, I agree with him that something has definitely failed. I don't know enough about PrEp to advocate it's use and condoms are certainly cheaper than the $1,000 per month cost of the drug, so I'm curious to hear what folks more knowledgable about this than I have to say about it. But somebody needs to start saying something about this cuz it sounds like we are f#cking each other to death! I know that Michael's opinions are often unpopular, but he is a good friend of mine, so please steer clear of personal attacks on him. Well, I guess a few wouldn't hurt. Hee hee! But if this what people are up to and he's dares to suggest a solution, I don't mind listening. However, I am always wary of much that is offered by our wretched pharmaceutical industry. MICHAEL LUCAS: "In the past month, eight people I know have told me that they've tested positive for HIV. A couple of them had boyfriends who cheated on them. These friends, who didn't know about PrEP, are now unfortunately among the 50,000 Americans newly infected with HIV each year — one in four of whom is under 24 years old. Whether we want to admit it or not, safe-sex education has been an epic failure. In a recent national survey, the majority of gay men—58%—admitted to not using a condom the last time they had anal sex. Is PrEp better than condoms? Dr. Grant won't go that far, but here's what he did say in a phone conversation: "That actual use of PrEp is more effective than saying you'll use condoms and not using them. And that's often the choice people make." I'm know I'm not a public health expert, but I can't understand why we're not discussing, in a serious way, getting the most at-risk in our community on this medication immediately. With new and preventable HIV infections happening every hour, is the silence about PrEP among the safe-sex establishment not criminal? One more statistic: US News reports that if HIV infections among gay men continue to rise at current rates, more than half of college-aged gay men will have HIV by the age of 50. We desperately need a new approach to battling new infections." MORE: OUT.COM