Raise your hand if you have ever had sex unprotected? No this isn’t a trick question. Instead look at it as an eye opener. What if I told you that there was a new development in medicine that has been proven to prevent you from contracting HIV?
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. **Breathe**. What a mouth full. Aye? Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP is a new medically proven way for a person who is HIV negative to reduce their risk of becoming HIV positive. Like many drugs, PrEP must be prescribed by a doctor; a one a day pill with two medicines (Tenofovir and Emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. If you take PrEP and are exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from taking hold in your body. In a report published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, PrEP has been proven to reduce the risk of transmission by up to 92% when taken consistently.
Now that I have your attention there is something I must point out. As previously stated PrEP helps to reduce the risk of becoming HIV positive, not wipe away all chance of transmission. For someone who is sexually active, there is no 100% prevention method. With that in mind, PrEP in combination with other prevention methods is a must. Some of those methods are:
- Using condoms consistently and correctly
- Getting HIV testing with your partners
- Getting STD testing with your partners
- Choosing less risky sexual behaviors, such as oral sex.
- If you inject drugs, participating in a drug treatment program or using sterile drug injection equipment.
As with many of my articles, this one touches home. I am currently on PrEP; not for many of the reasons you may or may not be thinking. I chose to begin taking PrEP as another way to take back control of my life. As a man of color who is also same-gender-loving the odds are against me in quite a few ways. Instead of allowing the world to get me, I’m taking a stand with my health. My first step was sexuality and coming to terms with what it meant for me aka Pleasure, my second blogging article with Enticing Resultz Magazine (http://www.enticingresultz.com).
The second being, taking PrEP, while practicing abstinence. Now, there will come a time where “slap & tickle” will again be apart of my life. I would like to know that I did what I needed to do to protect myself from others. The verbiage in which I put my last sentence may come off rough, however there is some validity to the statement. Often times we make the conscience decision to be in situations that put us at risk for contracting HIV and other STDs -curable or otherwise.
In my past I have made more choices to not use protection than to use it. Since choosing to abstain from sex, I have given a lot of thought to how my sex life has been and how I no longer desire it to be. Taking PrEP now is an added measure along with now consciously planning to use protection, remaining confident in asking my partners about testing & their status, and understanding that in this process of changing who I am to who I desire to be “What if there were a slip up.” I am not planning to have raw sex, however I’ve recently got a better grasp of with restriction comes temptation.
In my next coming blogs, you will see more into the mind, the heart, and the soul that is The_Ramblr. There will be more ways to come that I continue down the more healthier approach towards this life I have been given. Until then, take care of YOURSELF and a few others. #besos
I am in no way associated with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, AIDS.gov, or any of their affiliates. I am a blogger and only give my opinions on the facts.
Christiawn “The_Ramblr” Emmanuel © 08/17/2014