Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Random Gawker Article about Barebacking, Safe Sex, and Truvada

Image and quote via Gawker

When I'm single, I don't bareback on purpose usually. I practice safe sex often enough to consider myself "always safe," even though that's not quite true. While the overwhelming majority of times that I've had casual anal sex, I've had the wherewithal and self control to stop and put on the condom I've already made sure is within my reach, there have been times when pre-sex teasing has led to penetration. I've slipped. There are times when a few condom-free strokes don't seem like they'd hurt anyone and we were both down so… I've given in to requests of full-on bare sex to orgasm on occasion, depending how hot and convincing the invitation was and how turned on I already was. It's always the exception, though. "That's not me," I tell myself during and especially after.

It's easy enough to sweep this all under the rug if nothing comes of it. If you don't contract HIV from bareback sex, was it unsafe? What does it even matter? Just do better next time and take solace in the personal rules—somewhat informed, somewhat arbitrary—that you suspect are keeping you protected: I've never gotten fucked raw by anyone who wasn't my monogamous boyfriend—I never need to bottom so badly that I'd ever let a casual acquaintance enter me without a condom.

But what hasn't harmed you in the past, if you're one of the luckily negative like I am, could still harm you when you do it in the future. Owning up to this fact is a crucial step in choosing to take Truvada, the antiretroviral drug cocktail of tenofovir and emtricitabine that's manufactured by Gilead. For years, Truvada had been used to treat HIV, but in 2012 it was also approved as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), to protect HIV negative people from picking up the virus. A study suggests that taking Truvada everyday reduces HIV transmission risk by 99 percent.

Click over for the rest.

5 comments:

Stan said...

A genetic mutation found mostly in people of European descent (CCR5-delta 32 mutation) delays the progression of AIDS and in some cases even brings about immunity. I have had unprotected anal sex all my life.
At age 63 I am still HIV-

http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/viruses101/hiv_resistant_mutation

Writer said...

I've heard about this Stan, but I've heard about it in Africa too. I also heard the European mutation came from people who survived the Plague. It's pretty awesome and I wish I had it.

I'm HIV+ but still bareback which is why I sero-sort.

(Do you ever top?)

Chris said...

A friend just posted this on FB, I thought it might forward it to you here. Hope you are well otherwise, I've been quietly writing my dissertation but always reading in the background :)

http://mobile.aidsmap.com/No-one-with-an-undetectable-viral-load-gay-or-heterosexual-transmits-HIV-in-first-two-years-of-PARTNER-study/page/2832748

Stan said...

I used to be versatile when I was younger but haven't topped in years. Sex with other men now is hard to come by when you get to be my age.

Arion said...

Is it easy to find Truvada outside the US ?