PrEP Can Save The Lives Of Black Gay & Bisexual Men: Here's What You Need To Know

Published: February 19, 2014

 I’ve been sighing a lot. In conversations about PrEP with friends, strangers, and colleagues, I have heard it all: Truvada causes cancer. Condoms are still an option. It’s too expensive. This is going to escalate risks. 

 
No doubt, I’ve been forced to wear my emotions on my sleeves during these conversations.
 
It’s troublesome, because my presumption is that folks have done the research for themselves, but what I have gathered is that some well-placed anti-PrEP articles have become the bedrock for these unfounded arguments. Many seem to forget that young black gay and bisexual men have the highest rate of HIV infection in the United States.  If we continue to cling to misconceptions and illogical arguments, we will lose momentum in the fight against AIDS. 
 
If you’re trying to figure out what PrEP is all about, here’s an introduction:
 
What is PrEP?
 
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It’s important to understand that PrEP ‘isn’t just a drug.’ It’s an HIV prevention strategy. Right now, there’s only one medication that has been approved as an HIV prevention pill: once daily Truvada, but other drugs are being studied as PrEP.
 
For years, Truvada has been a treatment drug for people living with HIV. Moreover, the Food & Drug Administration – the agency that approves every prescription medication sold in the United States –has approved Truvada twice: once as an HIV treatment, and, most recently, as a prevention pill for HIV negative people (PrEP).
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