It was almost one year ago that the Food and Drug Administration approved the antiretroviral medication Truvada to reduce the risk of HIV infection in uninfected individuals. That prevention strategy is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. This became the first medication ever to be approved for HIV prevention in adults, marking a major milestone in the 30-year global epidemic.
Chicago-based YouTube hotness, HIV/AIDS activist and vlogger Ken Like Barbie is featured in a smart, sexy and informative video that explains this biomedical intervention. "The frontier of HIV prevention is changing," says Ken. "Instead of just abstinence and condom usage, we now have a pill that we can take to elevate our same sex practices. So, Truvada becomes a safer sex practice in itself."
Ken, entertainer ButtaFlySoul and the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus' David Dodd will be the featured guests in a community forum on PrEP tonight at the Center on Halsted in Chicago. The forum will be held from 6P to 10PM.
PrEP is the daily use of an antiretroviral drug therapy that has dramatically reduced new infections in HIV-negative gay and bisexual men. Daily use of the cocktail—a combination of Gilead Sciences' Truvada and/or Viread—has shown up to 94 percent efficacy in preventing HIV transmission. PrEP is a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy that should include other prevention methods, such as safe sex and regular HIV testing. It is NOT a "magic pill", researchers and prevention advocates have warned.
The number of new HIV infections in the United States has remained "relatively stable" at about 50,000 per year between 2006 and 2009. But there have been a soaring number of seroconversions among Black men who have sex with men. The trend has been particularly “alarming” among Black MSM aged 13 to 19, according to the CDC. New infections have increased by 48 percent between 2006 and 2009. See EBONY: "New Data Show Black Gay Men Face "World's Highest" Risk of HIV"
See our recent series "Reversing the Alarming HIV Increase Among Black Gay Men Part 1" and "Part 2", as well as "What Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Could Mean for Black Gay and Bi Men" and "Clinical Trials Show PrEP Reduces Heterosexual HIV Transmission" that were syndicated by the Black AIDS Institute across Black print and web properties.
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