With the recent report in the New York Times explaining that Truvada (the successful antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV) is to be trialled in the US as a vaccine to now prevent HIV rather than just treat those with it, I wonder…. Will this form of vaccine encourage unsafe sex and cause rise to an increase in sexually transmitted infections, rather than be the “sexual revolution” it wants to be?
It’s being proposed that if taken daily, Truvada could possibly stop the transmittance of HIV during sexual intercourse. This treatment is called PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis).
In my own opinion, anything that people are willing to do to take more personal responsibility in their own sexual health and well being should be encouraged and celebrated. Whether this is wearing a condom, popping a daily pill or complete sexual abstinence, whatever suits you, the options should be out there.
But what do you feel about offering people yet another daily pill to pop? Do you feel they are just “Truvada whores” being given a way out of taking responsibility for themselves? Or do you feel the added protection of a pill on top of already using a condom is a great idea and the way forward in lowering the HIV transmission rates in the world?
Possibly, for those heated moments when you’re caught out unawares, an unexpected ‘special moment’ when you’re unprepared or worse for wear, maybe having taken your daily pill works as a back up plan that wasn’t offered before, when you would have normally taken the chance anyway?
The truth is that we currently live in a world where ignorance reigns, and people still see HIV as belonging to particular groups within society. In my mind this is huge part of the answer that is still being sorely missed when looking at tackling soaring HIV rates.
We are making great strides within the medical sector in treating and tackling HIV infections and their side effects, but until the ignorance is tackled and the myths busted, people will continue to believe that because they aren’t gay, or because they aren’t African, or because they ‘usually’ use a condom, or because they ‘asked the other person’ first, they wont be affected by it.
They can. They will. They are.