Pros and cons of PrEP debated in New York Magazine feature article
New York Magazine has published a feature article around Truvada, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and the gay male relationship to sex itself.
Tenofovir and emtricitabine, the two antiretrovirals that make up Truvada, are both featured on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a guide detailing drugs absolutely necessary for a fully functioning healthcare system.
The WHO has made public its support for the drug as a form of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), where taking the drug before sexual activity lessens the chances of contracting HIV.
Writing in New York Magazine, Tim Murphy says the issue can divide the community along age lines:
“The idea of prep can be especially fraught for older gay men, particularly HIV-positive ones. Larry Kramer, now 79, in poor health and HIV-positive since the 1980s, has been the most prominent voice projecting contempt and bafflement: ‘Anybody who voluntarily takes an antiviral every day has got to have rocks in their heads. There’s something to me cowardly about taking Truvada instead of using a condom. You’re taking a drug that is poison to you, and it has lessened your energy to fight, to get involved, to do anything.’”
Reasoning behind arguments against the use of Truvada as PrEP range from claims that the drug encourages high-risk behaviour to worries that drug-resistant strains of HIV will flourish should users not take the drug properly.