Author: M. G.
Tenofovir/emtricitabine, trademarked as ‘Truvada' by Gilead Sciences, is a cocktail of antiretroviral drugs that, if taken before having a sexual intercourse, can protect you from HIV infection. Truvada became famous a couple of years ago, when the Food and Drugs Administration approved its use in the United States as a PRE exposure prophilaxis: from that moment on, it was possible to use the drug in order to lower HIV infection risk for those individuals belonging to an high-risk category.
Activist Robert Levithan yesterday declared his supportiveness to any method able to make people more aware of their status, Truvada included. The real risk are those people that aren't aware of their HIV status.
Nevertheless, there aren't many specialists yet prescribing this drug to their patients, as Truvada was welcomed with a wide sense of scepticism by doctors and many activists: the medication works pretty good in theory, but when it comes to the real world, things slightly change. We just need to quote the words that AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein: "Let's be honest: it's a party drug". Activist/play-writer Lerry Kramer doesn't think that Truvada can be a solution of sorts either, he actually is convinced that there's something cowardly in using a drug that, as all drugs do, harms your body while you could just use a condom.
In fact, many thought that the drug could be perfect to be used by MSM (Men who have Sex with Men), as if they could start using Truvada as candies any time they would go for a one-night-stand. If the gay community were the world of orgies and wild sex that many seem to imagine, then Truvada would be a wonderful solution. The fact is that the real gay world is just like the rest of the world; there's no big difference.
Others saw a solution in Truvada for the apparently insoluble problem of HIV infections for porn actors in Los Angeles: after the approval of new local bills that oblige porn production to use condoms on their movies, many of these productions are planning to move to another state with a more lenient legislation. With Truvada, directors could continue shooting bare sex scenes and keep their actors healthy.
Truvada is a powerful tool for fighting HIV and therefore it shouldn't be classified as a party drug, it has an effect and we honestly can't afford to not use such an advantage in halting the epidemic. Nonetheless, the use of real medication as party props isn't the way to stop anything at all.
The truth lays somewhere in the middle and the Truvada case should be and will be further deepened in the near future. We all have the interest in using it in the best way possibile, the sooner we'll find this way the better. And meanwhile: wrap it up before you fuck it up.