Recently I read an article regarding suggesting that the medication that help extend the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS be used as a preventative measure against the disease like birth control. I voiced my concerns that this would provide a false sense of hope and security, just like birth control does.
Then, recently I saw this article and the headline was quite shocking. It states that “only 16.4 percent of MSM are using a condom every single time they have sex, and for that small fraction of men, condoms effectively prevent the spread of HIV 70 percent of the time.” Granted these numbers reflect the candidates self-reporting their condom use over a period of several years and doesn’t indicate that the condoms were properly used (correct size, lube inside and outside of the condom and changing the condom every 30 minutes [which I didn’t even know you were supposed to]).
In an article by Jake Sobo that is mentioned in this one, he makes an argument about the time to end the “condom only” strategy. I am still on the fence regarding PrEP as prevention for HIV. Not because I don’t think it would work, only cause I think that people will get to confident and stop using condoms altogether.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that always using a condom is difficult. I have my share of slip-ups in my day. As a top, I knew that my chances were slim of catching it. Plus, condoms can affect my erection and made it more frustrating to use them so I can see the benefit of PrEP, but it still scares me. I got tested and vowed to myself to take better care of myself and others that I had sex with.
I broke that promise a couple of years ago with my partner at the time and after we broke up about a year ago, I have always used a condom during sex.
Now, I am in another relationship with a great guy and we have used a condom every time, no questions asked. He has never resisted and has even insisted on them. For us, I don’t think that PrEP would be helpful since both of us are negative and we are using condoms correctly every time.
I think PrEP prevention is in it’s early stages still. I think that it would be a great tool for magnet couples where there is an increased chance for exposure. I think that we need to continue to push the use of condoms correctly not only to prevent the HIV exposure, but exposure to other STDs as well, not to mention pregnancies for women. We can’t forget the other diseases that condoms help prevent and the protection that they offer against those.
So, what do you think about the idea of HIV- people taking HIV/AIDS medication as a prevention for the disease?