These doctors are really concerned about PrEP users taking it daily. Why is this?

By | 21st December 2017

These doctors and interviewer (2 are PrEP users) are selling PrEP as some kind of sexual liberation and it’s your choice to have sex that gives you pleasure. This could be a disaster for gay mens’ health not just in terms of a dramatic rise of STIs, which has already happened in the USA, but also for HIV drug resistance.

Notice how they repeatedly bang on about taking your PrEP religiously every day, set a timer on your phone or take it after brushing your teeth being the common scripted answer. Why is this? Well you may think they are concerned that if you don’t take the PrEP you don’t have the correct dose in your body to protect you.

However the real concern they have is drug resistance. If you forget to take your pill a few days, easily done, and you have bareback sex with a highly infectious HIV positive man who infects you this will cause drug resistance, which in turn you may pass on to someone else, PrEP may not work against this mutation. This could happen many times before you are tested after 3 months. That’s why you are tested every 3 months not to check that PrEP is “still working” or for other STIs but to pick up whether that you have a resistant strain of HIV and then put you on the correct drug regime to treat your HIV. However that could be a more complex regimen, if treatable.

The more gay men on PrEP and barebacking the more chance for people to not take the pills consistently and therefore the more chance of drug resistant strains of HIV exploding in the community before they could contain the outbreak. A scary prospect. You think “PrEP works” now but maybe not in the future. Condoms offer a guaranteed protection rather than a biomedical intervention, which will eventually fail due to viral mutations.

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