The rise of the preppies: Will HIV prevention medicine stigmatise condom users?

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    Jun 19, 2013 1:17 AM GMT
    Controversial topic ahead so feel free to be blunt - just keep it classy ;)

    We all feared the Preppies in High School - the hip and trendy cliques that will determine whether you belong to the it-crowd or are an outcast. Slightly exaggerated statement but in the end there's some truth to it.

    With the rise of HIV prevention medicine like Truvada I am seeing more and more guys saying online they only do bare sex and take prevention medicine. In a chat a poz guy described these as Prep guys - or just as Preppies. He welcomes them, as they allow him to have bare sex without rejection nor second thought on HIV transmission. Indeed, for him that is great.

    But what about negative guys like me that can either not afford nor want to take the risk of using a prevention medicine? I understand how the pill works and think it is a great invention. But more and more I feel that it also creates a drive toward having bare sex makes it difficult for me to have the fun with guys. Not that guys weren't having bare sex all the time before Truvada - yet now I feel I am losing the argument for why I don't do it ... Are the Preppies pushing safe sex people out of the mainstream?

    Any thoughts?
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    Jun 20, 2013 12:41 AM GMT
    venue35 saidI will never ever understand why some people hate condoms so much.
    It's still buttsex when a condom is involved people!!!!!!!


    Completely agree, especially if it's done on a casual basis. There's also the prevalent risks of other STD's which can equally damage ones lifestyle.
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    Jun 20, 2013 12:58 AM GMT
    You're in an idiot.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Jul 06, 2013 4:56 PM GMT
    Preppies are people of a mindset that is derived from old money. They went to Prep school or a boarding school. They have a good academic base of knowledge and are not particularly interested in following fads. If others do or don't want to follow their example in terms of clothing or style, they don't care. That's why their look is considered "classic." The use of the term here is stupid.
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    Jul 06, 2013 5:04 PM GMT
    HIV is not the only dangerous STD out there. While using condoms will not protect you against all of them, it can make a big difference. Gay Marriage and Gay Discrimination may be incredibly important, but STD's will doom this new generation if we don't turn things around. It's already starting with HIV and other STD rates skyrocketing and becoming drug resistant.
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    Jul 06, 2013 5:10 PM GMT
    GermanSF saidWith the rise of HIV prevention medicine like Truvada I am seeing more and more guys saying online they only do bare sex and take prevention medicine. In a chat a poz guy described these as Prep guys - or just as Preppies. He welcomes them, as they allow him to have bare sex without rejection nor second thought on HIV transmission. Indeed, for him that is great.

    But what about negative guys like me that can either not afford nor want to take the risk of using a prevention medicine? I understand how the pill works and think it is a great invention. But more and more I feel that it also creates a drive toward having bare sex makes it difficult for me to have the fun with guys. Not that guys weren't having bare sex all the time before Truvada - yet now I feel I am losing the argument for why I don't do it ... Are the Preppies pushing safe sex people out of the mainstream?

    Any thoughts?

    I doubt that this will become an issue. Just like how many straight guys will still use a condom when their girlfriend is on the pill, I suspect that plenty of gay guys out there will be sensible enough to still use a condom in these situations. In any case, unless you're living in a country with a really good public pharmaceutical plan, then I can't imagine that many people would be willing to pay for the medication when condoms are so much cheaper. It would probably be limited to an upper-middle class phenomenon at most.
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    Jul 06, 2013 9:37 PM GMT
    If you are in a long term relationship with someone you either trust or have purchased on an illegal online buy yourself a hot Asian website, you should still only bareback if your partner/slave gets tested every hour.
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    Jul 06, 2013 9:43 PM GMT
    Along with the benefits of safer sex, I've always thought that sex with condoms was SO much more sanitary. Call me crazy...but lots of bacteria (along with other things) linger in a guy (or girl's) rectum that can get in the urethra and cause problems. Just my take.
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    Jul 06, 2013 9:48 PM GMT
    PrEP vs. Condoms
    A new ad campaign from prepfacts.org eloquently proclaims: "Love may have another protector." We'd like to think this means, universally, that people will use PrEP in conjunction with condoms to provide a second level of protection. That would make the most sense from a public health perspective, but PrEP presents us with a fundamental challenge to our way of thinking about protection and safer sex, namely that some people may use PrEP as a substitute for condoms despite the fact that it does not provide all the same protections.

    I spoke with Jeff McConnell of the Gladstone Institutes, a sociologist on the trial that demonstrated Truvada's effectiveness against HIV infection in gay men. Mr. McConnell pointed out that a person who is taking Truvada consistently as recommended (daily) and having sex without a condom can no longer be considered to be having unprotected sex, at least with regard to HIV.

    It has taken several weeks for me to wrap my head, and heart, around the idea espoused by sites like prepfacts.org and Mr. McConnell that taking PrEP daily and not using condoms could be considered, for some people, safer sex. This goes against everything I've been taught about HIV. Could it be that the language of safer sex, and perhaps sex as we know it, is fundamentally changing with PrEP?

    The fear among many of us in the gay community and in public health is that people on PrEP will start taking more risks once they start taking the drug, risks they would not have taken otherwise. I understand these fears, and I share them. But so far there isn't data to support this fear. It could also be that the protection offered by this drug, when used properly, might actually offset any "riskier behavior." Only time will tell. As mentioned earlier, condoms offer protection against a wider variety of sexually transmitted infections than just HIV and have plenty of other advantages, as well.
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    Jul 08, 2013 3:22 PM GMT
    Myol saidHIV is not the only dangerous STD out there. While using condoms will not protect you against all of them, it can make a big difference. Gay Marriage and Gay Discrimination may be incredibly important, but STD's will doom this new generation if we don't turn things around. It's already starting with HIV and other STD rates skyrocketing and becoming drug resistant.


    Bingo. icon_wink.gif
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Jul 08, 2013 4:15 PM GMT
    I think if you have met someone and the relationship is stable and one is + and one is - then the prep is a good idea.
    Because we live in such a religious society and when you come from a Catholic (as I'm sure others) up bringing, they don't believe in condoms. They also think sex is for making babies only.
    Lets fast forward about 150 years and here we are now. Not doing enough to educate about the proper use of condoms, thinking the fear will keep kids from having sex.
    That isn't working and now we have all these STDs.

    As adults you can make your own choices, but I think we need to make having safe sex a much easier activity than it tends to be now. I think it would be better to encourage sex, and having sex safely than just proposing the option of a condom.
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    Jul 08, 2013 4:31 PM GMT
    Considering the high cost of the medications, I doubt that any significant number of people will actually have access to them. Although I wouldn't be surprised if some people falsely claim to be using them.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Jul 09, 2013 8:39 PM GMT
    Very interesting question. Haven't seen it used as an excuse for bare sex yet, personally.

    Two good reasons to stick with condoms (and there's no good argument against either):


    1) Side effects of anti-virals are really nasty for some people. (They're basically DNA inhibitors.) If you're one of those, you want to avoid them (and HIV, all themore.)

    2) HIV is not the only uncurable STD!!!
    And with the rise of drug resistant strains in general (Drug Resistant Gonorrhea being a recent development) it's not the only life threatening one either.


    Stay safe.
    If anyone gives me grief about worrying too much I merely mention that I'm keeping the other people I'm intimate with safe. I won't risk them. End of argument.
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    Jul 09, 2013 8:44 PM GMT
    First I've heard of this drug. I am just old enough to remember butt sex without condoms, and it was WAY better than with condoms, for both top and bottom. I'm lucky I got out alive and healthy, so I would not risk HIV and other STD infections by not putting on a condom.

    I would not just take someone's word for it that they were on this drug regularly. It's like a backup precaution at best.

    Once the long(er)-range studies are in, and it becomes less expensive, maybe I'll change my tune on this. It's a good start.
  • zookpr

    Posts: 7

    Jul 09, 2013 8:53 PM GMT
    Safe sex is the only way to prevent HIV and other STDs. Why complicate life which is already complicated? Use your brains not your head to do what is most safe.
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    Jul 09, 2013 8:57 PM GMT
    Most of the guys that I know who are on it got it for the specific purpose of being able to have raw sex with less risk. I see it as a good thing since they were all barebacking before but without any level of protection. It's also extremely easy to get in most major cities as there are active research studies going on that provide the medication for free.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Jul 18, 2013 4:55 PM GMT
    Hmmmm...

    I am having a hard time understanding how another tool in the arsenal of trying to keep our community healthy would be a bad thing...

    Providing our community "choices" rather than one prescribed method seems like it would have a better effectiveness in reaching a broader section of the community and bringing the overall viral load in the gay community down and hopefully decreasing new positives.

    If we are not using the same protection perhaps that will encourage communication, which honestly is probably one of the best harm reduction tips we have between consenting adults.

    Just a thought.

    - David icon_wink.gif
  • Kazachok

    Posts: 415

    Aug 09, 2013 4:59 PM GMT
    Well if they are willing to risk the chance that the meds might not work, that they may get another STI, or the side effects of the meds, then it's up to them.
    I would never.
    ...
    How would I even get a prescription for that? "Hi, Dr ____ may I have a prescription for ____; I need it for unprotected sex." icon_neutral.gif
    There, I was blunt.