To PrEP Or Not To PrEP? That is the question plaguing Brian Moylan at Vice.
“Last summer, I picked up a gentleman on Fire Island,” he writes in a new op-ed titled Not Being on PrEP Is Making It Harder for Me to Get Laid. “We retired back to his place for a makeout sesh and found ourselves naked, with him straddling me, when out of the blue he sat right down on my dick without a condom.”
When Moylan said he wasn’t OK with that, the man assured him it was fine because he was on PrEP. Moylan, however, felt otherwise.
“I told my summer lover that I don’t have anal sex without condoms,” he writes. “If it wasn’t going to be bare, he wasn’t interested.”
An estimated 80,000 people currently take PrEP, with the number steadily growing since the drug first became available back in 2012. At the same time, Moylan says, condom use among HIV-negative young gay men appears to be on the decline. He points to a July 2016 study published by the Centers for Disease Control, which found 28.7 of men reporting having bareback sex in 2005, compared to 40.5 percent in 2014.
Moylan says what happened on Fire Island wasn’t the first (and likely won’t be the last) time this issue has come up for him.
“I’ve had several similar experiences over the past couple years when talking to guys on hookup apps like Grindr or Scruff: I’ll be on the verge of an invite to someone’s house until they ask me my HIV status. ‘Neg and only play safe,’ I always reply. It’s sometimes met with either stony silence or the abyss of being blocked by them on the app forever.”
While PrEP may protect a person against HIV, Moylan says his concern has to do with all the other STDs being passed around out there.
A 2015 study released by the DCDC found the total combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis had reached their highest level in history, and that gay and bisexual men made up the majority of new gonorrhea and syphilis cases.
“The bottom line is that there are more ways to define ‘safe’ than ever before,” he concludes, “but with some tolerance, respect, and a bit of communication that involves something other than well-placed grunts, we should all be able to get laid while staying both happy and healthy.”
What do you think? Does not being on PrEP make a man less desirable? Share your thoughts in the comments below…