Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-07-30
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

A Gay in the Life: Rick Aguilar A Gay in the Life: Rick Aguilar
Rick Aguilar started in photography in high school, taking photos for the ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

PrEP, Truvada take center stage at forum
By Michael Gipson
2013-05-29

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email
Panelists at forum. Photo by L. Michael Gipson


Nervous energy flowing throughout the Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theater among the 60 participants for the May 22 event, "Ready, Set, PrEP! My PrEP Experience." Most of the anxious were HIV/AIDS service providers and advocates who came to hear what they hoped would be some good news in a field often plagued by setbacks.

A collective of Chicago AIDS service providers, club and bar promoters, community groups and the company Gilead Sciences, makers of Truvada, the antiretroviral (ARV) approved for PrEP, sponsored this event.

This educational community forum featured clinical psychologist and HIV researcher Sybil Hosek of Stroger Hospital of Cook County; program coordinator Gustavo Varela of the Generation L program at Vida/SIDA; and New York performance artist ButtaflySoul, with moderators David Dodd of K Dock Media and Ken "Like Barbie" Williams of Test Positive Awareness Network. The panel was intended to deliver the facts and dispel the myths about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the newest, somewhat rebooted weapon in the arsenal against HIV. More than a strategy, PrEP is being hailed as the best tool devised against HIV since the condom.

"We're discussing viable, prevention options with the hope to one day curb, if not stop, the HIV/AIDS epidemic," said Williams, whose popular video blog recently featured a viral video on PrEP. "This dialogue and event could potentially save a life."

While PrEP's preventative use is not new—pilot programs for the "party and play" set of gay and bisexual men have existed in cities like New York for years—fresh research and the Food and Drug Administration July 2012 approval of Truvada, an HIV antiretroviral drug to be used by HIV-negative individuals as a prescribed prevention pill against HIV are potential game-changers. If widely accepted and utilized by those most impacted, there could be the kind of new HIV-infection declines not seen in more than a decade, when HIV rates stabilized to 55,000 new inflections annually. Those are the converteds' claims, but not everyone is convinced.

The audience asked panelists questions that seemingly reflected skepticism. Panelists and the moderators pushed hard to state that while PrEP is not the cure or vaccine hoped for, at last something substantive was finally here.

"Truvada is not full HIV treatment," one panelist said. "PrEP will not help after you're HIV-positive. If you become HIV-positive while on PrEP, you will have to stop taking Truvada and still have to come in for blood work and to get on a full treatment regiment."

While it is not the HIV Holy Grail, PrEP positions itself as awfully close. For those HIV-negative individuals who take Truvada daily, PrEP purports to protect against HIV at a rate of 92 percent to 94 percent, even when a person is in a sexual, serodiscordant relationship with an HIV-positive individual, placing PrEP on par with condoms in HIV prevention effectiveness. If an HIV-positive person is virally suppressed, which can prevent HIV transmission by 96 percent, and an HIV-negative individual is taking Truvada as prescribed, theoretically HIV is unlikely to be transmitted, even if they use no condoms between them.

"What about those who don't take PrEP every day and only take it when they have sex? Is it still effective then?," one respondent asked.

"We can't even get HIV-positives to take meds every day, and they need those to live! So, how do we get HIV negatives to take PrEP everyday?" another charged.

"What about youth? Can youth be trusted to take PrEP? What happens when they stop using condoms because of Truvada and get other STDs?" asked another.

In fact, concerns about youth access, utilization and adherence to Truvada as PrEP dominated a third of the conversation, most suggesting little faith in youth adherence. Those concerns are not without merit, since HIV-positive youth adherence to medication has proven an ongoing challenge.

"Truvada doesn't protect against everything," Hosek told the audience.

Truvada also does not protect against any other sexually transmitted disease (STD) but HIV, leading to audience fears of an STD explosion among those who'll abandon condoms for PrEP. Partially rebutting those fears, a representative of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago said, "Multiple studies have shown about 50 percent of gay men consistently do not use condoms anyway, a fact that hasn't changed in years."

People also expressed concerns about the cost and messaging PrEP as akin to taking a birth-control pill, pointing to decades of science concerning birth control and its side effects. However, panelists said in trials Truvada proved to have minimal side effects and toxicity.

However, there is still the question of cost as well. As stated at the forum, Gilead is currently willing to assist the eligible and interested, but economically challenged, in accessing Truvada through Gilead's patient-assistance program. The Affordable Care Act is also expected to cover PrEP. In the meantime, a discussion with a primary care physician to determine eligibility is the best way to access PrEP, although insurance coverage cannot yet be assured.

By the end, some remained unconvinced that the long-term cost and unknowns of PrEP weren't too much of a hurdle to overcome. Others expressed burgeoning excitement.

"The hope is to get everyone in the room to go out and be comfortable enough to disseminate what they've learned," said Williams.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Mother of Ryan White to Congress: Maintain commitment 2014-07-30
Ryan White's mom's campaign; HIV removed from human cells 2014-07-30
AIDS policy listening session Aug. 5 2014-07-30
CDPH launches Project CHAT 2014 survey to inform HIV plans 2014-07-27
PrEP effective with few doses a week; no new dosing strategies 2014-07-23
Journalist Vargas detained; Lambda Legal's call 2014-07-22
Six of airliner fatalities confirmed as AIDS researchers/activists 2014-07-21
Obama praises work of AIDS researchers killed in plane crash 2014-07-18
AIDS researchers, activists reportedly among crash fatalities 2014-07-17
CDC educates on dangers of smoking for HIV+ 2014-07-16
Conflict Center to mediate for Ryan White grievances 2014-07-16
HIV cure: One step back, many paths forward 2014-07-16
Black LGBT trailblazers; Maddow talks Perry; ENDA debate 2014-07-16
Progress in four years of the National HIV/AIDS strategy 2014-07-15
An Evening of Magic July 26 to support AFC 2014-07-14
History made, honored in annual Ride For AIDS Chicago 2014-07-13
Child with HIV, once thought cured, shows re-infection signs 2014-07-11
Tim Emond returns for Ride for AIDS 2014-07-08
Love grows as lesbians fight HIV/AIDS, stigma 2014-07-08
City resolution salutes 11th annual Ride for AIDS Chicago 2014-07-07
Collins, Red Ribbon sponsor, observes Nat'l HIV Test Day 2014-07-04
Annual Ride For AIDS Chicago is July 12-13 2014-07-03
2014 AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to raise funds for 31 groups 2014-06-30
Jenifer Lewis talks versatility, HIV/AIDS, bipolar disorder 2014-06-18
AFC, CDPH urge HIV advocates to 'Ready, Set, PrEP' 2014-06-17
Ride for AIDS Chicago July 13 2014-06-15
Iowa high court reverses HIV criminalization case 2014-06-13
Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS offer free HIV testing June 26-27 2014-06-08
Vida/SIDA, with Centro Sin Fronteras, opens Pilsen office 2014-06-08
HIV is Not a Crime Conference: Voices and perspectives 2014-06-06
'Step Up. Get Tested' aims to test 5,000 for HIV 2014-06-05
Dance for Life: Top dance troupes raise funds for HIV/AIDS 2014-06-04
Houston expands pro-LGBT measure; change in HIV statute 2014-06-04
AIDS book at Printers Row event 2014-06-04
Iowa first to reform HIV criminalization, Gov signs 2014-05-30
Maritxa Vidal: The 'mayor' of Division Street 2014-05-28
Female motorcycle club supports Ride For AIDS Chicago 2014-05-27
AFC warns of looming cuts 2014-05-25
HBO hosts screening of 'The Normal Heart' in Chicago 2014-05-23
New AIDS czar, HBHC CEO honored in Boston 2014-05-21





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

First couple to adopt looks back
 
Illinois takes step to end trans insurance bias
 
MUSIC Lakeside Pride Freedom Band director Zurcher resigns on a high note
 
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Grand-scale Greek drama
 
WCT's Baim named to NLGJA's Hall of Fame
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.