Truvada Troopers: Who is behind the push for PrEP?

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A man has tested positive to HIV at a Melbourne clinic while participating in a trial of PrEP, an antiretroviral drug credited with preventing the spread of the diseaseThe Age 22/05/2017

If this man has acquired a drug-resistant strain of HIV while taking the HIV prevention drug PrEP he would be the third in the world. But just as concerning as HIV acquiring resistance to PrEP is the resistance among gay men to admit that it could. In past few days I have been attacked for even daring to suggest that PrEP is not the magic pill gay men see it as. The gay men I have talked to have been taught well by the LGBT activist community – rather than entering a debate that could challenge their views, they have universally been personally attacking the man with HIV who we know nothing about. He didn’t take the course of medication right. Was he on drugs? He’s probably taking loads from everyone. The vileness with which they attack one of their own – and anyone could well be in his position one day – is truly appalling.

One day later The Age published another article in defence of PrEP, possibly after receiving backlash from the Truvada Troopers: HIV drug PrEP praised for helping prevent other sexually transmitted diseases. This is a misleading headline. PrEP does NOT prevent other STDs, and suggesting otherwise is highly dangerous. What the headline is referring to is that men on PrEP have to get tested for STDs every three months, which is recommended for every gay man anyway, and that this may reduce infections. Its hard to fathom how getting tested after the fact reduces disease rates, especially when thanks to PrEP the rate of men having casual sex without protection is at 41 percent, the highest since 1996. PrEP does not mean you can bareback without consequences; rates of other STDs are sky-rocketing and chlamydia and gonorrhea are developing antibiotic resistant strains.

This all reminded me of the time it was suggested that I go on PrEP. I was asked about my interest in the study during a regular sexual health checkup. I find it strange that I should be asked given I would be considered a low-risk individual. They know this as they have access to my full sexual history: I use condoms, have regular trusted partners, don’t do drugs, and, like a gentleman, never go arse to mouth. I’m not perfect and mistakes do happen – the Hungarian acrobat was a particularly good mistake – but I don’t make them with such frequency that I should be taking a pill every day, a pill that can reduce bone density and cause kidney and liver problems. Do they think I am incapable of walking down the street without being penetrated? This isn’t Paris.

In the few years since PrEP became widely available in Australia the gay community has gone from shaming those who take it as ‘Truvada whores’ to shaming those who don’t. Some men will only have sex with other men on PrEP. Well, onward Christian soldier! To be clear, there are high-risk individuals who should be taking PrEP and they should never be shamed for their chosen sexual activities or for taking control of their health. But what about the rest of us who have regulation intercourse? Who is pushing for us to take this expensive and potentially dangerous medication? The pharmaceutical companies sure, but they’ve been pushing unnecessary medication ever since they made the remarkable discovery that people don’t like to feel things.

The people pushing the drug and shutting down debate about its actual effectiveness are the gay community leaders. For them PrEP is a political statement: We can have as much sex as we want and if you dare suggest there are consequences you are homophobic. There was the same attitude in San Francisco in the early 1980s. They are pushing a particular view of sex – have as much of it as possible to piss off the establishment – and anybody who questions this or the effectiveness of the PrEP that makes it possible is shunned quickly. It divides the ‘woke’ cool gays in the community hive-mind from those who dare question this gay orthodoxy and might start asking things like ‘gay rights and refugees advocacy are linked how exactly?’

There has been another disturbing theme coming from the activists, which is: If we all take PrEP we can eliminate HIV in a generation! This is based on the assumption that we all have the same sexual health needs and require the same risk management i.e. we’re all sluts. No. We’re not all empowering ourselves by getting pounded behind the bushes in Royal Park at midday while near-by sweet young conservative things are just trying to innocently do their daily run and check out what’s swinging in the short-shorts at the tennis courts. Frankly, what is homophobic is assuming that every gay’s body is pumped full of vile disease that they’re incapable of stopping from spraying over all and sundry without daily suppression drugs. The activist rallying cry should be:

No one has permission to do anything to your body without your permission; now take this bone-melting diarrhea drug so the rest of us can gangbang.

History repeats, and anyone who has studied the early AIDS epidemic will recognise the pattern of hedonism and denial we are currently experiencing in regards to PrEP and HIV resistance. Today, just like then, the gay community is attacking anyone who thinks we should change our behaviour or at least question the prevailing attitudes. A medical crisis is coming, whether it be a new strain of HIV or another drug-resistant STD. Stay safe. Use a condom. There’s salted caramel ones now.

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