4 Things You May Not Know About Truvada for PrEP
From 2010 - 2015, the number of annual HIV infections in the United States dropped roughly 8% — one of the largest declines in recent history. The drop was due to a number of things — better knowledge of how the disease is spread, the rise of government programs aimed at combating the HIV epidemic, and the increased use of Truvada for PrEP.
If you’re HIV negative, PrEP may be the right choice for you.
1. PrEP is up to 93% effective at preventing the transmission of HIV.
That’s right — 93%! If you’re at an increased risk for getting HIV, condoms may not be enough to fully protect you.
2. PrEP isn’t only for those in the LGBT community.
PrEP is most often advertised to the LGBT community, but it can benefit people of all sexualities and genders. Sex workers, straight men and women with an HIV-positive partner, and people who often have unprotected sex can all reap the benefits of PrEP.
3. The initial reaction to PrEP wasn’t as positive as officials expected.
A drug that could prevent people from getting HIV seems like a modern day miracle. Health experts thought the drug would be wildly popular, however, that wasn’t the case.
Truvada was quickly declared a “party drug.” Because many Truvada users now believed they were invincible to HIV, people stopped using condoms. Within a few years, the drug actually caused a spike in other STIs, like chlamydia and herpes.
Truvada was also expensive. Though most insurance companies covered the monthly cost (of around $1,300) some of those who needed it most were uninsured and unable to pay for it.
4. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was one of the first high-profile politicians to advocate for Truvada.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has made PrEP use a major part of his plan to combat HIV rates, stating “Some people use condoms, some people don’t. You can’t offer condoms to people who don’t want them.” Among drug users, New York has significantly reduced transmission rates of HIV. However, among gay men, progress has been much slower.