Saturday, July 12, 2014

World Health Organization: All Gay Men Should Take Anti-Retroviral Drugs

This is interesting. The World Health Organization has published recommendations that all men who have sex with other men should be placed on antiretroviral medications in order to combat HIV and AIDS:
In guidelines published Friday, it said that it “strongly recommends men who have sex with men consider taking antiretroviral medicines as an additional method of preventing HIV infection.” Similar guidelines were issued by the U.S. in May.
The AFP continues:
Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis medication, for instance as a single daily pill combining two antiretrovirals, in addition to using condoms, has been estimated to cut HIV incidence among such men by 20-25 percent, WHO said, stressing that this could avert "up to one million new infections among this group over 10 years".

The new guidelines also focus on other high-risk groups, pointing out that men who have sex with men, transgender people, prisoners, people who inject drugs and sex workers together account for about half of all new HIV infections worldwide.
This seems... expensive. And excessive.

Here is a bit of self-exposure. I am a man who occasionally has sex with another man. Neither of us has HIV and neither of us is sexually active with any other men. Our risk of contracting HIV is virtually nonexistent -- barring exposure from other forms of infection, which is also virtually nonexistent. So placing the two of us on antiretroviral meds does nothing except cost us money and introduce unnecessary chemicals into our bodies.

Here are some ways to reduce risk for HIV infection. Learn how to correctly put on a condom in order to prevent breakage and/or leakage. Don't ever shoot up with dirty needles. Don't have sex with people you barely know unless you are wearing a condom. Postpone higher risk sexual activities (such as anal sex vs. oral sex) with people until you get to know them better. Give yourself plenty of time to learn whether or not you can trust a longer-term sex partner before discontinuing condom usage (assuming that you ever discontinue condom usage). Test yourself regularly. Give yourself even more time to figure out if you really want to discontinue condom usage in the context of a long-term committed relationship. I'm sure there are other official guidelines for HIV prevention that would be good for you to check out.

But mandatory antiretroviral medications for all sexually active gay and bi men seems excessive.

1 comment:

Donny Jacobs said...

Jon,

I smell Big Pharma looking to scare Gay men and make a profit off of them. I'll stick with condoms, thank you; I am not making room in my limited budget for anti-retrovirals!!!