Homosexual Birth Control: A Pill a Day

About a week ago, a menstrual like flow started streaming out of my ass.  It begged a few questions, which I asked of my doctor.  That’s after telling him about the few days prior when I picked up a rather aggressive hitchhiker who pitched a nicely sized tent and camped out in my backyard.  By the end of his stay though, it felt more like he had moved in and renovated the space (if you catch my drift).

I digress.  My doctor seeming less than amused ordered me not to have sex for at least three weeks to allow my injuries adequate time to heal.

From rug burn (let’s not forget the sheet burn I got in my early twenties) to broken ribs, “love is a battlefield,” and I’m a wounded warrior with the scars to prove it.

Putting cuts, bruises, and other minor bedroom “boo boos” aside, a good romp in the sack can be dangerous and accidents do happen. Now I’m not suggesting we all run out and get knee guards (When you go downtown, find other positions that are more comfortable for Pete’s sake!), but I’m all about protection. Bullies still roam the playground, and I’d rather not monkey around with sexually transmitted infections or diseases.

In July 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved what I like to call “homosexual birth control.” That’s the use of Truvada as a daily HIV preventative. Commonly known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), HIV-negative people take HIV treatment drugs (antiretrovirals – ARVs) daily to reduce their risk of becoming HIV-infected.

After my doctor declined to put me on the medication, I decided to enroll in a study currently underway at Harlem Prevent Center.  Researchers want to know if taking the drug less frequently than it’s currently prescribed will also be effective.  The study is “designed to identify PrEP pill-taking schedules that participants are more likely to follow and determine if these schedules influence healthier sexual practices.”

Randomly divided participants find themselves assigned to one of three-groups: Truvada once a day, Truvada twice per week and another Truvada pill after sex, or Truvada only before and after sex.  Yours truly belongs to the first group.

Among my concerns in the homosexual community is this perception that “the pill” is a license to have unprotected sex.  In fact, that’s the reason my doctor refused to write me a script in the first place.  He suggested my sexual habits (although frequent in nature) do not place me in a “high-risk” category, and he did not wish to do anything to “deter my socially-responsible behavior.”  

When I pressed him on the issue, he openly admitted he put a few dozen patients on the regimen.  They have unprotected “bareback” sex and although they’re not testing positive for HIV, they come back in the door any number of STDs.  We all know, chlamydia doesn’t always hang out alone.  That girl likes to throw slumber parties with some of her closest friends, which sort of gives a whole new meaning to, “Nighty-night.  Sleep tight.  Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”  Don’t you agree?!

Again, I digress.

The Big Apple is home to some of the best fruit in the barrel.  But in any bushel, you’re likely to find a worm in at least one apple and all it takes is a bad one to spoil the bunch.  That’s why I caution anyone who subscribes to the notion that an apple a day (or in this case a pill) will keep the doctor away.

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