Human Rights Campaign calls preventative treatment plan “a critically important tool that must be part of any and all efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.”
The Human Rights Campaign has consistently pushed the federal government to respond to the HIV and AIDS crisis while educating LGBTQ people and allies about the virus and how best to respond to it. HIV disproportionately affects members of the LGBT community, and despite nearly 30 years of research, there are still 40,000 new cases of HIV each year, two-thirds of which occur among gay and bisexual men. In addition, transgender women are also highly susceptible to contracting HIV.
To help stem the tide and stop the epidemic in its tracks, HRC has endorsed the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) – an HIV prevention strategy that currently involves taking anti-HIV medication to significantly reduce the chances of contracting HIV. When taken as prescribed by a knowledgeable healthcare provider, PrEP has been shown to reduce the chances of contracting HIV by more than 90 percent. It is important to note that HRC’s recommendation applies especially to communities that are particularly susceptible to contracting HIV. PrEP is not right for all individuals, and any medical decision should be made in concert with a knowledgeable healthcare provider.
It is also important to understand that PrEP does not provide protection against other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unwanted pregnancy. With STIs such as syphilis on the rise, and their capacity to cause serious problems if left untreated, it’s important for sexually active individuals to protect themselves and their loved ones by adopting one or more healthy sex strategies.
HRC has released a policy paper supporting its position on PrEP and calling on insurers, regulators, and drug manufacturers to make PrEP available to all medically-qualified individuals, regardless of socioeconomic barriers, HRC believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make an informed choice about their sexual health and about PrEP with a knowledgeable healthcare provider. PrEP should be combined with other safer sex practices – such as consistent condom use – and taken exactly as prescribed.
This resource is not a substitute for sound medical advice — and the examples throughout it don’t cover every situation! We encourage you to seek out additional resources from other community advocates and, most importantly, talk to a knowledgeable healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.
Last Updated: February 2017
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