Shedding light on PrEP
Check out my latest story for Healthline: A new study out of the Kirby Institute in Australia is said to be the first to look at a population-specific rollout of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- a treatment of medications that when taken daily by people who are HIV negative, is said to reduce risk of contracting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent -- among men who have sex with men.
Given how effective PrEP is, why hasn't it been made more accessible to people who are most at risk for HIV here in the United States? I spoke with Dr. Robert Gross, co-director of the Penn Center for AIDS Research, about what people should know about PrEP and what common "myths" they need to ignore. Damon L. Jacobs, a PrEP advocate and educator, shared with me his own personal experience with the preventive drug and how it impacted his own life. He also highlighted how PrEP has not been made fully accessible to communities that need it:
"When I started talking publicly about PrEP in November 2012, hardly anyone knew about it. A lot has changed since then, but I am told that gay and bisexual men of color in certain areas, particularly the South, are often still unaware of its existence. And then, when they do learn, it is often perceived as a drug for ‘privileged white men.’ And then, when they learn it is available and accessible for them individually they don’t have a clinic where they can go to get it,” Jacobs stressed.
Read more here.