For many years the only option for preventing HIV infections had been condoms. As noted in the video with only 80% of people using condoms there needs to be way to help protect those who are not able to reliably use condoms with each sexual encounter.
PrEP is a fantastic new technology that separates the prevention activity with sexual activity. When taken daily Truvada, the drug used as PrEP HIV prevention can reduce risk of HIV infection by up to 98%.
I also appreciate the note of the importance of getting HIV testing. Currently in Australia approximately 1/3 of people living with HIV are yet to be tested to learn of their infection.
Early diagnosis enables treatment which greatly improves the health outcomes as well as reducing the pool of HIV virus in the community as a whole.
An excellent video on the key strategies New Zealand has adopted to help stop HIV infections.
In an interesting article on the impact PrEP has on HIV positive community and how it’s removing fear from the table.
There’s no doubt PrEP is changing the landscape of how we hookup, love or fuck as people living with HIV. Some people have said for the first time PrEP takes the anxiety out of sex. With PrEP they’ve discovered a sexual freedom they’ve not experienced ever in their life.
Sex has multiple dimensions including intimacy, pleasure, spontaneity and adventure. Experiencing these dimensions becomes much less likely if we are fearful or anxious about either transmitting HIV or acquiring it. The removal of fear and feeling safe when having sex with a partner on PrEP gives a new sense of sexual liberation and freedom that many HIV positive and negative people have never known.
We know that treatment as prevention works and we know that PrEP works when taken as prescribed. As this understanding becomes more widely appreciated in Australia, it will change the way we community, relate to one another, have sex and form relationships. We hope that PrEP will start to break down and dismantle the HIV-poz/neg divide, which will be a quantum shift in our psyche and lived realities.
We’re moving to a new and exciting paradigm. One where we have the chance to form stronger and more satisfying sexual and emotional relationships without the fear and anxiety of HIV. In this new environment, we have the potential to embrace renewed conversations to explore our options openly and honestly with our sexual partners. And that’s a game changer for HIV poz and negative people.