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10 February 2010



Great PSA. Important info for us not so young folks to.


It is good info but I hope the price has come down. I had a scare about 5 or 6 years ago and was quoted $1,200.00 for the service. Fortunately it worked out but how do they expect young people to afford something like that?

Lang B

Nothing seems to scare this generation much. It all starts at home. Good that the info is out there though.


It's a good ad but down here in the deep South I don't see young men walking into an emergency room and admitting they've had unsafe sex any more than they would admit it to a doctor, if they even have one.

It's still way too much a social stigma down here. If they would figure out a way to make this available in a less threatening manner it might make a difference. Nice for city dwellers though.


the ad is useless for most.
Reality. The meds cost an arm & a leg.
Most emergency rooms wont give u any, they also require an HIV test ( which could cause prob w u getting insur)
The medical professionals are uneducated about PEP. It took me 3 days and multiple ER & multiple doctors!


This was very informative Rod...thanks. I'll remember this.

Former COGIC

@ Palladium and Sean:

Well, condoms are a helluva lot easier and cost only pennies, no? PEP is for emergency situations.

And sorry Palladium, but your medical condition is privileged. When you tell the doctor or ER that you may have been exposed, there are prohibited from sharing or gossiping about your info.

Just sayin' ...


hello, privileged info doesnt stop peopel from gossiping, writing it in your charts, and it definitely doesnt stop people from treating you like a piece of crap.

as far as a condom...DUH! but they break!

how about addressing the issues??

Corve DaCosta

very informative


This sound like a good idea but I'm afraid that it will encourage people who readily have access to the treatment to act more carelessly with their sexual practices. And like everyone said, most people will not feel comfortable going into an emergency room and asking for this drug because of the stigma and also because of the alleged price.


WOW, I'm surprised at the pessimism surrounding such a fabulous and desperately needed PSA.

What's with some of these arguments?

1)"Condoms break" - Yea, they do, rarely. If your condoms are breaking on such a regular basis that any sort of prevention (pre or post) just seems useless, then you need to a) get a different brand of condom, b) use better/more lube, c) admit that you don't really care to use condoms in the first place.

2)"People wont get this because of the stigma" - More than likely, the people who are too scared/embarrassed to seek medication to keep them from being infected are the same people who don't ever get tested in the first place for the same reason. I find it hard to believe someone who regularly gets tested for STD's would/should be embarrassed to privately tell a doctor they need this. It's not like you have to get on the "I might have HIV line" in the middle of downtown; you go to any ER and ask one nurse for it. Like really, what less "threatening" manner could they offer for this? Mail order in a brown unmarked box?

3) "Cost" - this is the only argument where I see validity. I have no idea what this thing runs but I know someone who used it years ago, and his insurance covered it. The issue here shouldn't be outright cost, but the lack of insured in our communities.

Worse come to worst, write a fake name in the ER and just get the drugs! Sell some dick/ass (safely) to pay for it! Really, if you can't afford 4 weeks of this stuff, how are you gonna afford them if you need them for the rest of your life?


lets me be clear and talk facts to some of you.
I have known about PEP for years! I had a situation where a condom broke, and called my personal Dr, and went through 3 different emergency rooms. The first two acted like I was speaking greek, and looked at me and treated me like sh!t.

you dont just ask for it from one nurse and they give it to you. you are clearly clueless about ER. first you go to a main desk, and they ask whats your problem is. Then you wait, then a nurse, then a doctor. they also will ask very detailed questions about your sexual history.

Also, you MUST agree to go see an HIV expert for follow up, or they will not give the PEP. The expert takes a full blood test, and then follow up in a month and after 6 weeks.

Thats not what happens when you get tested for HIV!
I am not talking some theoretical "feelings" being hurt. I am talking the reality of how black people are treated when HIV/AIDS is an issue.

The treatment was an eye opener for me, I got to see how stigmatized AIDS still is. I had insurance, i was informed, i am educated, i know how to talk to doctors. I look very non threatening. Yet, I still got treated like that!

It only takes a condom breaking ONCE!

4 weeks of one of the drugs (i only got one, insurance wasnt going to cover 2) was over $1000 without insurance. I had to have my doctor call the insurance company.

if you are HIV positive, there are some govt programs that will help pay for the meds. They dont cover PEP. thats how u pay for them if you poz.

dont talk, if you dont KNOW! ignorance, even from a positive perspective, is still ignorance.


Nice to know that some people live in an ideal world. When undergoing treatment for a "gay-related" illness a few years ago here in the hinterlands of the deep South the doctor took it upon himself to inform my mother that as long as I chose to live this kind of lifestyle this and worse would continue to happen. Some of the nurses refused to attend to me because of the "stigma" of my being gay.

I guess the argument of some here is that the "winners" who are out and can afford good and regular healthcare get to take advantage of this treatment and the "losers" who are too poor or too scared or too closeted (perhaps by their job) can just die. Right? Nice.

As I said before, nice ad for the city dwellers who live in urban gay neighborhoods.


What Procrastination_Xtravaganza said.

I'm never amazed by the pessimism and arguments against doing anything in our black gay community. PEP is an EMERGENCY option. Option being its there if you absolutely need it. It's not cheap and many insurances will not cover it ... but its there if people absolutely need it. And its a helluva lot cheaper than 20 years of HIV meds. And it saved one of my friends lives a few years ago.

I'm not even going to get into the other side arguments here ... some people are saying there's stigma to going in an emergency room, there's stigma to asking for HIV treatment, etc. I didn't know that HIV treatment was specific to "urban gay neighborhoods". It shouldnt be because if anyone reads this blog, you'll know that the HIV caseload is in the urban poor and southern/rural areas.

But that's part of our black culture...to keep insisting shame and stigma are preventing treatment.

And I'm sorry but condoms are cheap and/or free. There's no stigma to buying them and (young) black gay men can get them free anywhere or even online. I have only had a condom break once in 30 something years. And thats a helluva lot easier than a PEP treatment. Too many of us dont want to wear a condom or insist that our partner does, and the massive number of black gay/bi/DL HIV cases prove that.

Oh and Palladium...honey, a condom cost next to nothing. That should be your first line of defense in preventing in AIDS. If you always wear one or insist your partners do, you will have nothing to worry about. smh


@ Sean,

I apologize if I oversimplified the ordeal, because you're right, I've never been through it. Still, I don't see much in your argument that invalidates mine.

So what you had to do a bit of hunting before you found a facility that was familiar with PEP? It's understandable as most ER's are familiar with more common injuries (cuts, sprains, even gunshots are more likely than your broken condom.) Next you had to talk to the main desk, then the nurse, and then a doctor, big whoop. I never meant to portray receiving PEP as though you were buying a snickers from CVS, again, sorry if I made it seem so simple by saying you just talk to one nurse. Honestly, for just about anything from an ER, you sign in at the main desk, talk to a nurse, and if necessary talk to a doctor.

I'm not sure where you live, but with STD/HIV tests given in NY, even when you take anonymous tests, you talk to an HIV expert, and they take a full blood test and also follow up if you receive treatment.

I don't want to invalidate the way you felt you were treated when you went through this,..but I'm not sure how discrediting the usefulness of this PSA helps defeat the same stigma you experienced? The more this service is utilized, the more ER professionals will become familiar with it, and in turn become more comfortable with the procedure and how to treat patients, not to mention the infections it helps stave off. Sh*t you got PEP, why shouldn't more people know about it?

Again, sorry if I oversimplified in my first comment, but when it comes to my health, it's all very simple. There's no amount of disparaging gossiping nurses or rude doctors or pesky HIV specialists or even $1000 costs in the world that would frighten me into sitting around after a possible infection and let it take.



Apologies if my initial post oversimplified things, as you're right, I've never been through that situation, however, there's nothing much in your argument that invalidates mine.

So you had to do some hunting to find an ER familiar with PEP. This is understandable, as cuts, broken bones, even gunshot wounds are more commonly seen in ERs than your broken condom. So you had to talk to the main desk, then a nurse, then a doctor? WOW how exhausting. I didn't mean to portray getting this lifesaving medication as though you were buying a snickers from CVS, obviously for ANY treatment from an ER you need to sign in at the main desk and describe your problem, then see a nurse, and then a doctor as necessary.

So you had to speak to an HIV specialist and answer probing questions. Does this not happen where you live when you test for STDs and HIV? Sorry for wherever you live. In NYC whenever you get tested in an ER or a clinic you see a specialist and they ask about your sexual history and practices, and yes, they follow up if you receive treatment. I'm still not seeing anything out of the ordinary here.

Cost is prohibitive but again this is an emergency situation, and it's much cheaper paying for 4 weeks of the stuff than your entire life.

My question to you is, why bash this necessary PSA as "useless"? Was your experience so bad that you'd rather just catch HIV? You've known of PEP for years, why shouldn't other people?

The more this service is used, the more ER's will become familiar with it, and the more heath service providers will become comfortable with people who need it, thus lessening the stigma, not to mention the infections it may help stave off.

I'm not trying to invalidate how you felt you were treated when you went through this, nor am I trying to oversimplify the process, but when it comes to my health, it really is very simple.

No amount of ER hunting, or disparaging gossiping nurses, or rude doctors, or pesky nosey HIV specialists, or $1000 costs in the world would placate me into sitting around and letting a possible HIV infection take.

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