Truvada Is For “Cowards,” Says “The Normal Heart” Playwright Larry Kramer

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 11.37.49 AMActivist Larry Kramer, author of The Normal Heart and key player in the fight against HIV discrimination and stigma during the height of the AIDS epidemic, sat down with The New York Times this week to talk about HBO’s film adaptation of his play and, despite its release this weekend, the unfinished work his movement is still tasked with.

As the founder of nonprofit AIDS organization Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Kramer says young people today have a responsibility to educate and protect themselves when it comes to having sex — a luxury he and millions of others were not afforded in the early days of the AIDS crisis.

On the topic of the controversial PrEP approach to having safe sex, he says “anybody who voluntarily takes an antiviral every day has got to have rocks in their heads. There’s something to me cowardly about taking Truvada instead of using a condom. You’re taking a drug that is poison to you, and it has lessened your energy to fight, to get involved, to do anything.”

On that note, Kramer also hopes Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart inspires young people to get involved in politics again. He notes how important government support was in researching and distributing some of the first antiretroviral medications:

“Considering how many of us there are, how much disposable income we have, how much brain power we have, we have achieved very little. We have no power in Washington, or anywhere else, and I say it over and over again, and it’s as if it falls on deaf ears. It doesn’t occur to people how to turn that around.”

The Normal Heart premieres on HBO this Sunday, May 25 at 9pm. Check out Variety‘s first review here.

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  • randyism

    Amen. Also, very soon the great concern won’t be HIV; it will be antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. Some will die from these infections, but so many more will be maimed for years. A woman in the US recently died in five days after she contracted a super-bug UTI. These events are only going to increase in coming years, and gay men who aren’t careful can end up with a host of chronic infections that require potent chemo therapies to control.

  • redcarpet

    Wait, using a prophylactic medication in addition to condoms makes someone an irresponsible coward?! What about the real people out there who have been infected when the condom slips or breaks, or got it from oral sex?! No one on PrEP has to stay on it their entire lives, unlike if they were infected. And as for the barebackers, there will always be reckless people out there, i’d rather them be on PrEP than just throwing caution to the wind and spreading the disease even more like they have been doing for the last 15+ years.

    This is the most ignorant trolling I have heard from him and thats saying a lot because I know he likes to rile people up.

  • WuzUpYall

    Discrimination exists…and will always exist.

  • NotHavingIt

    I don’t think there are many people who are taking PrEP and using condoms at the same time! What would be the point? The PrEP defense is the reason why bareback porn is the latest rage. There have been so many people who have said that the condom broke and I got infected, or it slipped off and I got infected. I can not say whether or not those statements are entirely truthful. What I can say is that I am HIV- today because condoms work!!! I had been in a relationship with an HIV+ man and I am sure that I have been with other men who were not truthful about their status. I have not become infected to this very day, thank God! What I think is more of an issue is that there is a gay, generational gap and there is still so much shame and denial in our community about HIV/AIDS.

    The generation gap comes from the millions of gay men in my age group (I’m almost 50) and older who died years ago from this horrible infection. Had they been privy to the plethora of information that is available today, many of them would be here today. The most affected age group seems to have left the scene a while ago and these younger, gay males have grown up without adequate gay role models. Hence, they have looked to other sources for their imagery and self worth.

    The shame and guilt comes into play because there are so many people in our community still in denial about their status and we, in the community, continue to judge people because of their status. In my opinion, PrEP will just allow those are infected, knowingly and unknowingly, to engage in known risky behavior and to possibly further spread a completely preventable disease throughout our community.

    @randyism I agree with you that pretty soon, HIV will be the least of our worries. These infections continue to mutate and become more resistant and deadly because of ignorance and apathy.

  • robirob

    Personally I am too paranoid about introducing more chemicals to my body. But I think it looks like a valid option for those who want to take something to keep their mind at ease.

  • NotHavingIt

    @WuzUpYall: Sad, but very true

  • GrahamParker

    Lovely bit of slut shaming and anachronistic understanding of New age retrovirals from a once great activist.

    Safe to say Larry is nigh-senile and does not understand the politcal landscape he is attempting to traverse.

    PrEP has a efficacy of 90%, condoms that of 80% and the FDA approved use of PrEP for anal sex, not so for condoms.

    Using both would be smart but shaming people for making their own choices in their life is NOT how we as a community should work, that’s what we deal with from everyone ELSE, can we quit trying to crucify people and shame people for making their own sexual choices?

  • vidhraalexander

    There are so many thing wrong with this story and the attitudes of the commenters. First people need to edicts themselves on what PrEP actually is and does. It has been shown to have a 92% success rate at preventing HIV infections when taken as directed. Additionally, PrEP is not meant to be used alone. It was approved by the FDA as an added means of protection. This is just continued slut shaming by prejudiced older men who think us younger guys don’t get it. Guess what, we do. We’ve been beaten over the head for years with your stories of guilt and horror that it’s honesty just a broken record. I understand many died. Let the deaths of your friends and lovers not have been on vain.

    Why would you want discredit a scientifically proven method and weapon in the arsenal against HIV/AIDS? Think back to the debates about the pill how many decades ago? Has female promiscuity increased? No. In fact the areas of the country with the most STIs are the ones that teach abstinence. Under-education leads to more problems. At an estimated 50,000 new seroconversions a year can we really afford not to take extra precautions? Oh, and that whole thing about men no longer using condoms? Well that’s a fear mongering lie. A study out of SF has shown there a no associated increase or decrease in condomless sex associate with PrEP.

    And you’re right, we made our own role models, and it looks like we still need to.

  • GrahamParker

    “[Larry Kramer] recycles the kind of harangues about gay men (and young gay men in particular) that institutions like the Times so love to print — that they are buffoonish, disengaged Peter Pans dancing, drugging and fucking their lives away while the world and the disco burn down around them.”
    – Richard Kim,, 2005

  • vidhraalexander

    The comments about chemical paranoia, slut shaming, and denial of the facts are sounding a lot like anti-vaxers, Tea Party, and climate change deniers.

  • ChiChi Man

    @redcarpet: Maybe you’ve had different experiences, but I can’t tell you how many guys have asked me to bareback since they’re on PrEP and think that have nothing to worry about.

    I think people have to make their own choices, but I personally don’t want to ingest any more chemicals. It’s easier to just wear a condom.

    Re Larry: he’s a curmudgeon and he can be outrageous — but he makes us think. I dread the day when he’s not with us, challenging the community.

  • redcarpet

    @ChiChi Man: So? At least they aren’t asking you to bareback and just saying “fuck it!” to themselves. Those men were already out there, and they have been there even in the worst times of the disease.

    I am damn sick of some of the other comments above acting like anyone under 35 is some historically ignorant hedonist. People are trying to add a new tool to the protection arsenal and you are calling them sluts? I’m 30, I may not have been in the throws of the gay community at the time, but I saw people die AIDS, how horrible it was, and the scars they left behind on their friends and family. The first thing my mom said when I came out was “Just be safe, I worry about you” (translation: don’t get HIV). We know how horrible this fucking thing is and we are just as terrified as you think we should be about it. It’s why we want some goddamn backup to condoms! Are you telling me that if PrEP were available in 1985 during the worst of the horror you wouldn’t standing in line to get it?

    I’m starting to think that if we ever get the miracle vaccine everyone wishes for we’ll still get people saying don’t bother unless you are a slut.

  • Wilberforce

    What a shock. I hadn’t heard people refuse to speak unemotionally about prevention for ten whole minutes. I almost thought it was 1980 again.
    Let’s look at where we’re at now.
    The new drug has a potential to create a drug resistant virus.
    But we have all the information we need to stop HIV. We don’t have to rely on statistics. We know from decades of experience that dialog and testing and condoms work.
    That means talking to each other without the excuses and defensiveness. Slut shaming indeed. That’s a new one from the ghetto crowd. It should be filed with ‘anti-gay’ and ‘every man for himself.’
    We only need to toss the internalized homophobia, shout down the sociopaths, and set responsible standards in the community.
    Bottom line: we can stop HIV.

  • Jimmy

    @GrahamParker: Actually, PrEP has an efficacy of >99%.

  • Jimmy

    @Wilberforce: Incorrect! The data shows there is zero concern for resistance with proper use of PrEP. Educate yourself instead of concocting self-diagnosed research.

  • Cam


    If dialogue worked, then we wouldn’t still be having such large numbers of people becoming positive.

  • Polaro

    Larry Kramer has always been controversial. I think he likes it that way. This, again, is another example of him being controversial, and wrong. I’m 54, so I am old in this discussion, and I believe a drug that lets us have sex with lowered risks is great. Truvada is a good thing. I take it. And, I now sometimes, for the first time in my life, have sex without a condom with special guys. And I like it. At 54 I,for the first time in my life had sex without a condom. Cool. And there is nothing wrong with it. And if you think there is, well you need to just but out of my life. Don’t take it if you don’t want to. That’s your choice.

  • NumberOne69

    I believe the attitudes about Truvada as PrEP, like Larry Kramer’s, is a function of morality or ethics lagging behind science. For decades now, gays have lived under the premise that the only “moral” way to have sex is to use a condom because it prevents the spread of HIV (I know a condom prevents acquiring other diseases, too, but I’ll put that aside for now because the discussion is about not acquiring HIV). Now, we have the discovery that Truvada can accomplish the same protection level against HIV that a condom can; they both have the same relative efficacy rate. So, why wouldn’t having sex while using Truvada not be viewed as just as “moral” as having sex with a condom?

    I believe Truvada is not viewed in the same light as a condom because of all the preconditioning that a condom is the only way to have safe sex and some people are not prepared to accept that there is now another way to accomplish the same result. Because of all the preconditioning, sex without a condom is viewed as just plain wrong, despite the fact that, with Truvada, a person is just as protected as they are with a condom. Sex without a condom has been so stigmatized (and rightly so in the past), that even though a person might be just as protected with Truvada, sex without a condom is still being perceived by some as still a stigmatized endeavor. The talk about Truvada being an enticement for people to have “irresponsible” unprotected sex is just wrong. Truvada may entice people to have sex without a condom, but those people are not unprotected and, therefore, are every bit as responsible as if they used a condom. They, in fact, are every bit as protected as if they had used a condom.

    Remember when when sex was just sex. It wasn’t barebacking sex or safe sex, it was just sex (some may not be old enough to remember that time). Isn’t the purpose of a cure or inoculation supposed to be about allowing people to be without fear and live a “normal” life and allow people to return to their pre-disease routine and/or piece-of-mind? While Truvada is not a cure, it allows people the option of living their sexual lives in a less obtrusive manner while still being protected against HIV. Shouldn’t this be applauded as an advancement? Instead it is almost demonized, which I believe is due to all the preconditioning about condoms. What good is a medical advancement, if that advancement is viewed as less-than-moral, which is why I believe that morality just hasn’t caught up with the realities of medicine and science.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Larry should talk about how he got it and whether he gave it to anyone. That would be more educational on his part.

  • redcarpet

    The iPrEX study was published in 2012 and only just now are doctors parsing it and giving it a very cautioned thumbs up. PrEP is incredibly new and we have been jerked around before, I understand the skepticism. It’s going to take time for the old guard and AIDS orgs in particular to catch their thinking up to the new data.

    What it comes down to is do I believe the AIDS orgs who have been operating under 1990s strategy of condom myopia or do I believe doctors, scientists, and the CDC who are saying PrEP is a legit option.

    I’m eager for the British study to finish. A confirmation of the iPrEX study would go a long way to allaying fear.

  • Throbert McGee


    What about the real people out there who have been infected when the condom slips or breaks, or got it from oral sex?!

    These real people who became infected with HIV from condom breakage or fellatio are statistical anomalies. Bareback anal has always been the engine driving the HIV epidemic among MSMs.

    To put it another way, redcarpet, if bareback anal sex were taken entirely out of the picture, and if HIV had been spread among MSMs only by fellatio or “condom failure”, then you’d be able to fit the entire AIDS Quilt into the Bedding/Linens section of just one Bed, Bath & Beyond.

  • Teeth

    Maybe he is worried that his life’s work wont be as relevant once we aren’t all scared of sex. It’s pretty sick of him to say these things. Had his friends had Truveda, he would still have them in his life. There have been studies done that show that PrEP does NOT change behavior. It’s just one more tool in the fight.

  • hotboyvb81

    most don’t use Truvada with a condom- they think the pill itself will save them- if porn stars can bareback/use it and have 10 sex partners in a month…a guy with only 2 partners thinks he’s safe- kinda sad!

  • Teeth

    @hotboyvb81: Actually, that’s not true. That’s just the stereotypical slut-shame attitude infecting your willingness to look at the facts.

    Studies have shown that PreP does not change behavior, it changes sero conversion rates. It’s got it’s problems– the under 25 crowd aren’t so good at taking it daily, for example. But it is not going to unleash the hounds of gay sex hell that you worry about.

  • Ihadtosayit

    Let me be the first to say that I DO believe that PrEP is effective however someone said the following conditions to me that made me question things:

    1. The efficacy of the “common” person taking it each and everyday to achieve the desired results…let’s not forget the drug use in the gay community and those who might be prone to being a “Truvada Whore” what that may mean for them

    2. Asking someone about their “viral load” and believing them; gay men are continually putting their health in the hands of strangers (especially when it comes to causal sex)…this NEEDS to stop. If you are in a long term committed relationship that is over 2 years (yeah I went there because 3-6 month isn’t enough time for Lamisil to work) then you need to investigate things.

    3. There are also a host of diseases (some are also not curable) on the rise that gay men need to avoid and condoms are QUITE effective to prevent them. Now if you want to stack the deck and take Truvada and wear a condom I say…GO FOR IT…

    4. Lastly, the patent for Truvada ends in 2 or 3 years…it just seems curious that Gilead is sponsoring these studies to encourage more use…

  • redcarpet

    @Ihadtosayit: Thats a really good point about the patent. At the very least a person could hold tight for a couple years and a much MUCH cheaper generic will come on the market.

  • Geeker

    What worries me is that there are people who aren’t going to use Truvada correctly and what happens if that misuse results in a drug resistant infection,then where will the gay community be if one of the big treatments to control HIV becomes useless. Also the fact that more and more porn stars are going bareback and referring to themselves as “Truvadawhores” just creeps me out and shows it’s already being used without condoms the way the drug makers themselves say to use it.

  • Bulls Eye

    While I appreciate Mr. Kramer’s work, and the passion that has fueled his activism, I just gotta call him on this. Maybe in HIS world sex is a purely physical act and is “performed” by people who deliberate beforehand. In such cases, yes, by all means, use a condom if that’s your thing.

    But sex is more than that — it’s an act of intimacy that is being buffered by using prophylactics. So, if by taking Pre-exposure Prophylaxis a zero-discordant couple can take steps to ensure the continued health of the negative parter, I say: bring it on.

    And I’ll take it a step further. If I choose bareback sex, thats my right. It’s also my right to choose my method of practicing safer sex with PrEP. Particularly with a partner who’s viral load is undetectable, this is a reasonable way to remain uninfected while permitting the intimacy and spontaneity of physical intimacy.

    To claim that I’m being a coward in that regard is wrong. I’m willing to accept my part in not spreading the virus. Who is anyone to tell me what methods I have to employ toward that end?

    I may fail, but I’m willing to take that risk. And that is my right. IS IT BETTER THAT I USE NO PROTECTION AT ALL?

  • queerT

    AMEN Larry! He has been right 100% of the time with his predictions but the entitled, self-absorbed [email protected]+s of today are too busy chasing tail and getting high to learn anything from him.

  • Ihadtosayit

    I will add this little piece of sound advice for many gay men…yes it is a little “gross” but true…when I was having causal sexual encounters condoms were ESSENTIAL because I did not know how “clean” the person’s anal cavity was…I wanted to make sure that I did not encounter anything that they might have missed during their preparation…sure they make everything look all nice and fancy at SeanCody, CorbinFisher and other sites that have bareback sex but in the real world…REAL THINGS happen…

  • Ihadtosayit

    Truvada is ONLY as effective as the person who is regularly taking it…you are still putting your health in the hands of the another person (whom you do not know, let’s be honest gay men know what to say to get sex…hell everyone does)…unless you know that they are sticking to their daily dose and considering how rampant closeted drug use is in the gay (or any community) you have to way the odds…just because you are taking Truvada does not mean you viral load is being suppressed…

    “Crystal meth is a particularly addictive drug because it affects a part of the brain called the reward center, which plays a role in positive reinforcement and associating various stimuli with good feelings. It’s problematic for persons with HIV for several reasons. Many people on a “meth run” simply don’t take their antiviral medications. Sometimes despite their best intentions (I’ve had clients ask their friends to remind them to take their drugs, set alarm clocks, etc.) they may go days without their meds, which can lead to drug resistance. Additionally, meth is processed in the liver and interacts with many medications, the most common being ritonavir (Norvir), reducing the benefit of antivirals. Finally, there are new studies which document that meth physiological impacts the immune system in ways that are not completely understood. Your friends should steer clear of crystal meth. More information can be found at and, and most major cities have local meth initiatives to provide information and assist persons in dealing with this drug.”

    Now, that being said if you are taking the pill “routinely and effectively” and encounter someone who is HIV+ (also you know that this person has achieved an undetectable viral load) and you have unprotected sex it will lessen your risk…

  • Jimmy

    @queerT: Oh really? What about when the ignorant ass was anti-condoms? Yeah, you heard that right. You are a troll.

  • Ihadtosayit

    Are these “Truvada Whores” going to embrace HIV+ gay men (encouraged that profile language be changed from “clean U B 2”, have sex with HIV+ men (I mean if they have achieved an undetectable viral load and you are on Truvada what can go wrong), encourage the gay community to lessen the stigma on HIV+ men and/or have relationships with HIV+ men…or is this all medication taking for those who are HIV-…just curious????????

  • Jimmy

    @Ihadtosayit: WTH? So your whole justification for wearing condoms is because you’re scared you might get a lil scat on your dick? Condoms offer little protection for Syphilis, FYI,

  • Ihadtosayit

    @Jimmy: yeah call me a clean freak…silly silly silly me…considering what can be in fecal matter I think I will keep unrolling a condom…

    Given their effectiveness in protecting against HIV, condoms can be expected to provide similar levels of protection against other STDs transmitted via genital secretions, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis.

    For STDs transmitted through sores or ulcers – genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid – the level of protection provided by condoms depends on the site of the sore or infection and whether the condom fully covers the lesion. I would hope you can see the sore or lesion and make the BEST decision for yourself. Because they cover and protect a significant portion of the genitals during sexual contact, condoms can be expected to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of transmitting these STDs.

  • ParkerSparx

    Condom useage is still encouraged w/ Truvada. The drug also can cause numerous side effects.

  • Throbert McGee

    I’ve done tearooming, I’ve done J/O Clubs, I’ve done group watersports, and I’m still HIV-, in part because I’ve always chosen to make “No anal for me today, thanks” my first line of defense against HIV, even ahead of “Always use a condom if I’m in the mood for anal sex.”

  • Throbert McGee

    But sex is more than that — it’s an act of intimacy that is being buffered by using prophylactics.

    Sometimes, however, sex is an act of “intimacy” that is being buffered by the fact that you don’t even know the guy’s last name.

    Non-penetrative frottage can be fully intimate if the emotional connection and personal communication are there.

    But when these factors are absent, going bareback doesn’t automagically create intimacy — and so many young men have come to grief because they used barebacking as an instant microwave-brownie approach to “fake intimacy.”

  • Throbert McGee

    And, incidentally, I don’t believe in “slut-shaming,” but I do believe in “tick-shaming” and “leech-shaming.”

    If you wanna pay for Truvada out of your own pocket, fine — let your freak flag fly, baby!

    But if you expect other taxpayers and insurance customers to foot 98% of the bill for your “right” to have condomless sex, you are a tick and a leech — shame on you!

  • Ihadtosayit

    @Throbert McGee: THANK YOU…the notion of intimacy is increased with bareback with a stranger is HILARIOUS to me and I am sure many others…this continual notion of skin on skin contact is MUCH more intimate needs to stop…it can lead to many things and intimacy is down the list (but if you want to believe that the world is still flat you go right ahead) but that is nearly at the top of list is REGRET.

  • Jimmy

    @Throbert McGee: So based on your logic, folks who get cancer because of bad genes shouldn’t expect tax payers and insurance companies to pay for their drugs/treatments either, especially when that family knew of the potential known heredity diseases? Or those who lungs become worthless due to the chemicals they are exposed to in their job shouldn’t either, because they knew the risks working in that line of work? Or we shouldn’t expect insurance companies to pay for your vehicle’a damage, or those injured in your vehicle because a drunk driver hit you, simply because you took a risk driving in the first place?

  • Jimmy

    @Throbert McGee: @Ihadtosayit: But that wasn’t my point. Your argument was that you wore condoms because they may not have cleaned out well. I don’t care how will one cleans out, it’s an ASS! And one will always have trace amounts of bio organisms in their rectal cavity, even their throats and penis! STIs don’t need fecal matter to thrive whatsoever. Btw, how’s condomless oral sex protecting you from STIs lately?

    Anyone who preaches condom usage for anal sex, yet engages in unprotected oral sex, is a hypocrite.

  • Chris

    I simply don’t see how it is cowardly to use something that is over 99% effective in preventing an infection.

  • Jimmy

    @Ihadtosayit: Uhhh, did I say HIV from oral sex? You and I were discussing STIs. Carry on…

  • skcord

    Sometimes I think Throbert McGee, his comments and blog, are an elaborately staged performance art piece. A year from now we will be reading a queerty article about his book of internet comments, hypothesizing about the futility of applying logic to the illogical or crazy… if not… during your next moment of lucidity you should totally steal that idea because it’s genius. : ) mostly just kidding, mostly.

  • Bulls Eye

    @Jimmy: @Jimmy: Amen to that.

    Maintaining an undetectable viral load is one way an HIV+ person helps protects his partner from transmission.

  • Jimmy

    @Ihadtosayit: LOL! Nice!

  • freecrs

    If silence=death, then let’s talk about truvada and gay culture……

    1. Wearing a condom doesn’t make you less slutty than someone using Truvada, “just because.” You are a still a freak….If an HIV vaccine came out, and I got it, would I automatically be a freak if I opted for the vaccine? Would I then become a less political gay person by removing myself from the risk and be framed “a coward?”

    2. It takes a lot of courage to be honest with your doctor about your sexual practices and your possible lack of condom use for whatever reason. Protecting yourself from infection, and possible others you will be sleeping with, by seeking medical advice on truvada and taking it is a fight against HIV.

    3. A lot of people don’t use condoms and appear to use Truvada…increasing the risk someone gets HIV, by shaming them for using truvada or arguing to lessen its availability, is a weird cultural code for ethical punishment and norm production. I must say, I feel the gay scene/community really gets dark sometimes in wanting to see fellow gays harming themselves (as if shaming life style choice wasn’t very aggressive).

    4. Where is the medical journal that describes Truvada’s long term negative effects on a person’s health that Kramer seems to consider the most valid over all the research that says there is very little potential for negative side effects (compared to those health effects associated with contracting HIV)
    listen to the lead academic researcher on truvada comment on all the studies here. more straight people actually take it:

    5. Similar to 3: Getting more people infected with, or increasing the chances they are infected with, HIV by limiting protective measures seems like a demented way of “politicizing” a community or keeping it political. Should we fight AIDS or drugs that may prevent it’s spread?

    5. The drugs used to treat HIV infection for one’s lifetime are much more expensive and elitist than truvada. I don’t think ACT UP was gonna stop at that point (when survivors became undetectable in late 90s). I think it’s a disgrace to ACT UP, and a lot of individuals that died for and during that movement, to shame a new way to fight the spread of Aids and HIV amongst a new younger generation gay people with a very different cultural memory.

  • Teeth

    How very interesting it is that we’ve gotten to this point.
    I remember when GRID, and then AIDS, and then more subtly HIV were percolating in the news.. and I remember the terror and shock, and the way sex went underground. The activism. The deaths! The pain. The legal fights. And now we have this: calling each other names for either taking a preventative pill or not taking it. I’m simply amazed. Talk about malcontents.

  • Teeth

    Oh, and the money.. PUHLEEEZEE.
    Want to talk expensive? Look at Diabetes and Heart disease.
    Almost all cases could be prevented with decent lifestyle choices. Do you feel the instinct to charge Large Marge for her Insulin Pen? Self hating homos.

  • michael mellor

    We need laws to stop promiscuity.

  • Jimmy

    @freecrs: @Teeth: Brilliant, the both of you! Thank you posting!

  • NumberOne69


    “A lot of people don’t use condoms and appear to use Truvada…increasing the risk someone gets HIV…”

    Given that Truvada is more effective at preventing HIV transmission (99% vs. 82%), why would not using condoms and only using Truvada be seen as increasing the risk of getting HIV. By using Truvada only, one is actually lowering the risk of contracting HIV when compared to using condoms alone. Using a condom alone as a means of HIV protection seems to be quite ok and even considered the responsible practice. Yet, using something that is more effective than a condom (Truvada) is somehow less responsible and risky?!?! If you are saying that using both condoms and Truvada should be the new normal, then that would be like wearing a belt and suspenders at the same time. The use of a condom isn’t going to have much effect on the 1% chance where Truvada isn’t effect.

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to participate in bareback sex as long as one is using Truvada. It is only in the last 30 years that bareback sex has been stigmatized, as well it should have been for obvious reasons. Prior to that, bareback sex was the norm since the beginning of man. Now that there is a medication that protects one from getting HIV in a manner that is more effective than a condom, the legitimacy and utility of the negative stigma against bareback sex no longer applies.

    Why would a person who engages in bareback sex while using Truvada be any more of a slut than someone who engages in sex using a condom, especially when Truvada is more effective than a condom. Protected sex is protected sex. Given that one has a lower chance of contracting HIV, bareback sex while using Truvada is the better protected sex and, therefore, should be considered the more responsible, moral manner to practice safe sex!!!

    One can try to slut-shame me, tic-shame me, leech-shame me or any other kind of shame me for engaging in bareback sex while on Truvada. But the fact of the matter is that I am being more responsible in having bareback sex with Truvada than those who try to shame while having sex using a condom. I am better protected than the condom-only crowd. Let’s get that fact straight!

  • freecrs


    I apologize. I didn’t capitalize the “i” in “increasing.” The “…” was supposed to separate thoughts and it appears that you are stringing together things that other ppl didn’t string together.

    So to correct myself and make the meaning more apparent to avoid ambiguity: “A lot of people don’t use condoms and appear to use Truvada….. Increasing the risk someone gets HIV, by shaming them for using truvada or arguing to lessen its availability, is a weird cultural code for ethical punishment and norm production.”

    Keep up the good work and play safe in whatever way you do.

  • michael mellor

    Truvada appears to be a money-making scheme. Don’t go anywhere near it.

  • Jimmy

    @michael mellor: You have now made 2 extremely fucktarded comments. Go away, TROLL!

  • jkozel

    Larry Kramer: you should be ashamed. Anytime you call someone a coward for taking a proactive stance on their health is irresponsible and dangerous. Learn the facts before you walk upon your soap box. I’m very angry with you.

  • Geeker

    Here’s a radical idea,Don’t let strangers shoot their loads into you.

  • NumberOne69


    Thanks for clarifying your point. I now understand the context properly. Regards!

  • NumberOne69

    @michael mellor:

    Your comment is completely uninformed!

    (1) Yes, Gilead makes money from the sale of Truvada ($3B in 2012, the year Truvada was approved for use as PrEP), but this profit is from the sale of the drug to people who ALREADY HAVE HIV, not from people who are using it as PrEP.

    (2) Secondly, Gilead has not bought ANY advertising for Truvada as use as PrEP. Neither has the company been a party to any of the studies of Truvada as PrEP. So, the company doesn’t appear motivated to make profits from Truvada as PrEP.

    It took me all of 2 minutes of research to find out this information. Please do your research before printing false information.

  • RBSandor

    WHY take an expensive pill (meds) with dangerous side effects for the rest of your life, when you are ALREADY HIV-negative without it?


    Web polls are OPEN at:

  • Godabed

    For those people stating that “the studies have shown” on Prep, did any of you read the part of the study that said that Gay men were not adhering to the regimented program meaning they failed to continuously use the medicine as prescribed? Because every time i see that 90% it’s clear that you didn’t see the part specific to gay men. Yes if used properly it will be completely effective however people have to be responsible enough to follow thru with the problem it’s not the morning after pill you can’t take it once or even a couple times and just stop. Or take it just before you know you are going to have bareback sex, it doesn’t work like that the percentage of risk reduction goes wayyy down if you don’t adhere to the program as directed and you are just as likely to contrast HIV.

    And to the larger point it doesn’t prevent other Sti’s, it is not a cure all. So as Kramer said these people are not only cowards but very misinformed or perpetuating a false image. Don’t take part of the study that you like and disregard the part you don’t. Use a condom with Prep, and your chances of getting STI’s including HIV are greatly reduce but you have to stick to the program. That is the bottomline.

  • NumberOne69


    (1) “Truvada is ONLY as effective as the person who is regularly taking it…you are still putting your health in the hands of the another person….”

    First, why would one’s ability to take this drug regularly (once a day) be an issue. Does one forget to shave before going to work? Does one forget to put on their underwear when dressing? Does a diabetic forget to give themselves there prescribed insulin shot? So, why would it be ay different in taking Truvada, or any other drug for that matter. I’ve been taking Truvada for 10 years and I don’t miss doses…and it’s not like it’s a superhuman effort to remember to take it. I simply take every morning when I have my first cup of coffee. No more difficult than that. There are many people who have to take many different drugs daily and compliance never becomes an issue when discussing the efficacy of any drug. Of course, one has to take a drug for it to be effective, but having said that, It is a moot point that one will be compliant in taking one’s medication, whatever that medication might be when discussing it’s efficacy. There is nothing about Truvada that would cause one to be any less compliant than in taking any other medication.

    Second, one of the main benefits of taking Truvada is that one is NOT putting their health in the hands of another person. If you don’t understand this, then you don’t understand Truvada as PrEP. The efficacy rate of Truvada in preventing HIV transmission is 99%, which is greater than the efficacy rate of condoms in preventing HIV transmission. This efficacy rate has nothing to do with, whether or not one’s sexual partner is taking Truvada or has a low viral load (presuming the partner is HIV+). Just like in using a condom, the efficacy rate is not dependent on one’s partner’s health. In fact, in using a condom, it is almost presumed that one’s partner is HIV+. That is what one is using the condom to protect against. Well, so to it is with Truvada as PrEP. If one’s partner(s) is/are HIV+, the drug is 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission.

    (2) “…just because you are taking Truvada does not mean you viral load is being suppressed…”

    If one is taking Truvada as PrEP (meaning they are HIV-), then there is no viral load to be suppressed. One only has a viral load if one is HIV+, in which case one will be tested regularly and, thereby, know if Truvada is suppressing their viral load.

    (3) “Now, that being said if you are taking the pill “routinely and effectively” and encounter someone who is HIV+ (also you know that this person has achieved an undetectable viral load) and you have unprotected sex it will lessen your risk…”

    Yes, it will lower one’s risk to the point where there is 1% chance that one will become infected with HIV. There is a 99% chance that HIV will not be transmitted in the scenario you outline and, btw, it doesn’t depend at all on whether one’s partner has achieved an undetectable viral load. Again, this efficacy rate is higher than that of condoms in preventing HIV transmission.

    So, in the scenario you outline and assuming one’s partner does not have an undetectable viral load, one would be better protected having bareback sex while taking Truvada as PrEP than they would be in having sex with a condom. Taking Truvada as PrEP is far from cowardly. Because of it’s efficacy, It is more responsible, moral & ethical than using a condom as a means to prevent HIV transmission.

  • Jimmy

    @RBSandor: Brandon, you and your website couldn’t be more wrong. PrEP hasn’t failed whatsoever. Nearly every major researcher, scientist and doctor agrees that you’re wrong, too. However, what is failing is your mentality. I don’t need to try and convince you otherwise, because you’ve clearly made up your mind, much like Mr. Kramer.

  • Ihadtosayit

    @NumberOne69: well duh you have to trust that the person has not missed a dose and knows there HIV status…are gay men still getting tested if they are on Truvada…or are they making assumptions that they are protected…

    You make some good points…I am willing to concede to some of them…

  • Ihadtosayit

    @Godabed: all very true…you have to contend with many other factors when you are only on PrEP…I can concede that Truvada has its merits but the list of diseases that can still be contracted and that are on the rise within the gay male community is still staggering…I will not concede that gay men are still putting their general health in the hands of strangers if condoms are not used…

    Why not double your bet and use both, what is the harm? Are gay men tired of condoms and want to have bareback sex again? I think this is the real question that is being glossed over .

    From the CDC:

    Some STDs (like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis) can be cured with medication. If you are ever treated for an STD, be sure to finish all of your medicine, even if you feel better. Your partner should be tested and treated, too. It is important to remember that you are at risk for the same or a new STD every time you have unprotected sex (not using a condom) and/or have sex with someone who has an STD.
    Other STDs like herpes and HIV cannot be cured, but medicines can be prescribed to manage symptoms.
    How can I protect myself?
    For anyone, choosing to be sexually active means you are at risk for STDs. However, there are many things you can do to protect your health. You can learn about how STDs are spread and how you can reduce your risk of getting infected.
    Get Vaccinated: Gay, bisexual and other MSM are at greater risk for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and the human papillomavirus (HPV). For this reason, CDC recommends that you be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is also recommended for men up to age 26.
    Be Safer: Getting tested regularly and getting vaccinated are both important, but there are other things you can do to reduce your risk for STDs.
    Get to know someone before having sex with them and talk honestly about STDs and getting tested—before you have sex.
    Use a condom correctly and use one every time you have sex.
    Think twice about mixing alcohol and/or recreational drugs with sex. They can reduce your ability to make good decisions and can lead to risky behavior—like having sex without a condom.
    Limit your number of partners. You can lower your risk for STDs if you only have sex with one person who only has sex with you.
    Know Your Status: If you know your STD status, you can take steps to protect yourself and your partners.

  • NumberOne69


    For the benefit of anybody who reads your misleading posts, I offer the following. Truvada doesn’t in any way guaranty any side effect(s). In taking the drug, there is the potential for side for side effects, some of which are of the nuisance variety and some of which could be serious. However, every substance ingested, whether or not it is a drug, has potential side effects. Water ingested in sufficient quantities with bring about death!

    Lactic acidosis is a potential side effect of Truvada, however, it is not a likely side effect. So to are liver and kidney damage potential side effects, but, again, they are not likely side effects. Has any person who’s ever taken Truvada experienced these serious side effects? Yes! However, no significant population of the Truvada-taking set experience these side effects.

    Keep in mind that there is huge set of HIV+ patients that have been taking this drug over the last 10 years. So, likely side affects are well known and they aren’t significant. This is not considered a “risky” drug by HIV doctors. Rashes, nausea, diarrhea are the more possible side effects when one first starts using this drug, but these symptoms go away as one’s system gets used to taking Truvada. I, personally, have been taking Truvada for 10 years and never experienced a single side effect; not even a rash…and my viral load has been undetectable for all of those 10 years. The only reason the serious side effects are even noted is because a drug manufacturer is required to divulge every possible, known side effect that has ever been experienced by patients taking the drug. But just because something is possible does not mean it is likely or probable.

    You ask, why take this drug when one is already HIV- without it. There is only one answer and that is because some people want to have sex the way nature intended, without a condom. This may not be important to you, but it is obviously important for those who use Truvada as PrEP. And because these people don’t bow to your way of thinking does not mean they are risky, immoral or unethical in how they manage protecting themselves against HIV. Wanting to experience sex without a condom does not make anyone a slut or irresponsible or any other negative characterization you may proffer; it make one a human being. It is in human fibre to seek out that which nature intended, keeping in mind that admonitions against bareback sex have only been put forth in the last 30 years of human existence. The days when bareback sex needed to be viewed in a negative light are over. Because of the efficacy of Truvada, people now have a safer, responsible option in how they want to conduct their sexual life. And that option is neither good nor bad; it is simply an option.

    But it is not right that you and people of your thinking try to stigmatize those who wan

  • NumberOne69


    I assume people taking Truvada as PrEP are getting tested along the way, if not because they want to, then because the doctor who prescribed the drug mandates that they get tested. Before prescribing Truvada as PrEP, the FDA requires that the patient be tested for HIV to confirm that that patient is indeed HIV-. The most obvious reason for this testing is because, if the patient turns out to be HIV+, Truvada alone is not adequate in fighting the spread of HIV once it is in your system. Additional drug(s) would have to be prescribe if someone were HIV+. So, I assume this reasoning applies during the course of taking Truvavda as PrEP.

  • Geeker

    @NumberOne69: Doing things “the way nature intended” is what led to HIV in the first place.

  • Mezaien

    Christianity, is like HIV+ we got to fight against it for century to come.

  • Ben Dover

    What about guys who are in sero-discordant relationships? PrEP is ideal for them.

    Didn’t Larry Kramer reinvent himself as some kind of prophet of lo-o-o-o-ove back in the early ’90s? Yeah, back when he was whining about not having found a boyfriend yet. I guess we’re all lucky he finally found one! Who knows what nonsense he’d be spouting if he were still single.

    And hasn’t our HIV+ “community” recently been moaning about “stigma” and the “HIV neutral” campaign and so on? (Properly so, IMO, for the most part.)

    So this whole notion that PrEP is only for sluts and “cowards” falls apart quickly when you examine it.

    Also, I wish Larry Kramer wouldn’t use the word “coward” in the idiotic George W. Bush sense of “any bad guy I disagree with.” (Is this what HIV activism has devolved to: Larry Kramer is now our George W. Bush? Does Larry paint too?)

    And to go back to Larry’s original quoted statement, above, don’t you just love it when millionaires talk about “how much disposable income WE have”? Who are you calling WE, Keemo-sabe?

  • NumberOne69


    I’m not sure I get your point. Are you trying to say nature or what is natural is somehow wrong? Just because a big sink hole opens up in the road doesn’t mean the road can’t be repaired and made useful again (I know that analogy is out of left field, but my point is made nonetheless). Nature can’t be wrong because what is natural is what restricted behavior in the human and animal world always reverts to when given the opportunity.

    There is a 100% effective way to eliminate HIV from the planet. Not slow it’s growth, but eliminate it. And that is for everybody to stop having sex for the rest of their lives. Not very likely or possible is it? And that is because it is unnatural and human behavior will not countenance such a proposition.

  • Wilberforce

    @Cam: Let’s just say that dialogue is part a larger strategy. And it would work a lot better if half the community weren’t looking for excuses for being self destructive. Meanwhile, sociopaths speak freely whenever this topic comes up, and without a word of opposition from the ghetto crowd.

  • Wilberforce

    @Jimmy: I said ‘potential.’ You’re the one jumping to conclusions. The data is very new, and we can’t make any predictions at this point, although people with agendas have always been free to make all the nut cake predictions they want.

  • Cam

    @Throbert McGee: said…

    “But if you expect other taxpayers and insurance customers to foot 98% of the bill for your “right” to have condomless sex, you are a tick and a leech — shame on you!

    This is the typical GOP logic that has sent the middle class down the toilet.

    So by that same logic, women’s birth control shouldn’t be covered, because, gee, those whores are asking for it. And heart disease shouldn’t be covered because if they had only jogged 10 miles every day they wouldn’t have gotten sick. And cancer shouldn’t be covered because if they’d only moved to a farm in Idaho and eaten only organic food they would have never gotten cancer. etc…

  • Cam


    Ok, makes more sense that way.

  • Wilberforce

    @Cam: That’s the disgrace, that hiv still spreads in our community after some 35 years. And mainstream gay culture has never been at all upset about it.
    The point is that we have plenty of experience and statistics about this. And we’re saying that testing, dialogue, and condoms have worked for us for 30 years. They would work for others if the sociopathic crowd weren’t doing everything they could to confuse the issues.

  • Polaro

    There is moralistic preaching and phony concerns about costs and a whole litany of inane BS about this topic that drives me crazy. There is a pill that keeps you from getting HIV. Take it. All the rest is noise from noisy people.

  • Bulls Eye

    @Throbert McGee: Whether or not I know the other person’s name isn’t the point. Although I was speaking in the context of a sero-discordant couple, it’s equally applicable to a random hook-up in which the partners don’t know the others status.

    The issue is what do we do to protect ourselves and/or partners. Just as you choose, “no thanks,” as your safer sex practice, I’m free to choose barebacking along along with PReP. You take your chances, I’ll take mine. That’s all.

  • barkomatic

    Sex without a condom is significantly more enjoyable–that’s why guys do it despite the risk of HIV. There will always be personalities that take more risks than others for a variety of reasons.

    If you like condoms then use condoms. If you like PrEP then take that–both are effective. Some of you are just over-thinking this. It would be great if PrEP helped to create a kind of “herd immunity” whereby even the occasional guy who neither uses condoms or PrEP isn’t in so much danger and HIV stops spreading so quickly. At least in Western countries.

    No disrespect to Larry Kramer and his many substantial contributions to our community–but he’s wrong. Everyone is from time to time.

  • Geeker

    @NumberOne69: Are you that desperate to shoot or have a load shot into you that you’ll take a medication with possible side effects to do it? Disease is natural,are you so eager to embrace that too?

  • Throbert McGee

    <@Bulls Eye:

    The issue is what do we do to protect ourselves and/or partners. Just as you choose, “no thanks,” as your safer sex practice, I’m free to choose barebacking along along with PReP. You take your chances, I’ll take mine. That’s all.

    There is a BIG difference between the two of us, you low-expectations-having [word-that-rhymes-with-brag].

    What I’m “role-modeling” to my sex partners is: “The simplest and cheapest way to protect yourself is by centering your man-to-man sex life around non-penetrative frot, not around anal sex.”

    What you’re “role-modeling” to your sex partners is: “There’s nothing at all wrong with barebacking as long as you’re responsible enough to swallow a mildly toxic drug whose cost is mostly subsidized by people who don’t bareback.”

  • Throbert McGee

    What about guys who are in sero-discordant relationships? PrEP is ideal for them


    If I were an HIV+ guy in a long-term relationship with an HIV- guy, I would never ever ask my boyfriend/husband to deal with the physical side-effects and long-term health risks of antiretroviral drugs just so that I could enjoy the pleasure of topping him without a condom.

    Instead, I’d rely on the time-tested, scientifically proven methods of condoms, frottage, and TasP to keep our sero-discordant relationship from becoming sero-concordant.

  • Throbert McGee

    @Ben Dover:

    Also, I wish Larry Kramer wouldn’t use the word “coward” in the idiotic George W. Bush sense of “any bad guy I disagree with.”

    I’m fairly sure that what Mr. Kramer meant is that there is indeed something cowardly about taking Truvada just because you’re afraid to say to the Hot Muscle Top: “No condoms, no entry, sir!”

    Tip #1 for bottoms: If your “top” guy drops hints that he might leave you if you don’t agree to let him f*ck you without a condom, HE IS BEING A BULLY. For Pete’s sake, don’t act like Victorian women whose mothers advised them to “lie back and think of England.”

    Tip #2 for bottoms: You CANNOT actually absorb the top’s manly masculine testosterone through your rectum. Taking a sperm-delivery through the tradesman’s entrance accomplishes exactly nothing, biologically speaking. (Also, for guys who enjoy the flavor/aroma of semen — your tastebuds are at the OTHER end of your digestive system!)

    Tip #3 for bottoms: If you believe that taking a guy’s fist up your ass demonstrates some sort of superhuman He-Man tolerance for pain, but you’ve never gotten involved with karate or boxing or MMA because the thought of a fist connecting with your perfect Marcia Brady nose during a sparring workout absolutely terrifies you… …you’re just a f*g, not a proud gay homosexual, and you should stop kidding yourself.

  • Throbert McGee

    Final thought for this evening:

    It’ll be a great day when Schools get all the textbooks they need, the Air Force gets all the high-tech bombers it needs, and the Gay Male Community has to hold a bake sale to pay for the Truvada prescriptions of guys who think it’s LIKE TOTALLY UNFAIR that they should be expected to use condoms.

  • Teeth

    It’s always so interesting how internalized homophobia rares it’s narcissistic head.

    Almost all disease is lifestyle derived. If you were born with a faulty heart valve or some other awful thing, then that’s another story.

    But almost ALL the chunky people on dialysis, diabetics on Insulin, CHFers on Bp meds…. that’s ALL lifestyle… yet, you don’t advocate that we need bake sales for them to get treatment for their preventable, lifestyle, expensive diseases. Not to mention how many people go on disability benefit because of these kinds of things. We know how to prevent heart attack and stroke, right? If those people would just eat right and move around.

    No… you focus in on the (about $300 per month) cost of PreP for people guilty of (clutching my pearls) anal sex! OH MY! If those terrible gay men could just rub each other and not do that terrible distasteful sex thing!

    The answer to HIV prevention will not be found alone in a simple pill, nor in a simple condom, and certainly not in mediocre sex.

    The tools available to us provide a range of solutions for a range of people.

  • Bulls Eye

    @Throbert McGee: Is it lonely atop that tower?

    I’m sure your partners appreciate the pre-defined the boundaries of your “sex life.” But maybe you should discuss these control issues and fear of intimacy with your therapist.

    Then you might stop trying to convince others that you’re “enlightened,” as opposed to, say, just some self-hating bathroom troll.

  • Ben Dover

    @Throbert McGee: Dear Throb:

    I agree that there are plenty of other sex acts to do besides anal. (I do commend you for getting pissed on! That seems a better choice for you than doing anal.)

    But why do you assume that the poz partner in a LTR would be the one to ask the neg partner to do PrEP? Maybe the neg partner would bring it up.

    Kramer’s use of the word “coward” makes no sense unless he is admitting that PrEP is slightly safer than condoms alone, and condoms alone are slightly more dangerous and therefore “braver.” Or something. Otherwise he seems to have misplaced his dictionary.

  • E T

    He’s been through a lot, yes. But he sure is a mean old man, from all I’ve been hearing from him. First he trashes a known LGBT ally with conspiracy theories. Now he’s aggressively deploring new solutions to the problems he faced in his youth. I get that this is his life’s work, but if new technologies can provide more options, then who is he to stand in the way?

    Doesn’t seem any different than grouchy old men who insist that we should stop with the sodomy and get straight married. And reading through the comments here, it seems that grouchy old men will always be put on higher pedestals than they deserve, even in our own community which has a history of being mistreated by grouchy old men.

  • Throbert McGee

    But why do you assume that the poz partner in a LTR would be the one to ask the neg partner to do PrEP? Maybe the neg partner would bring it up.

    In the event that the neg partner brings it up, the poz partner ought to say: “Don’t be silly, honey. The TasP approach is highly effective and I get tested regularly to ensure that my viral count is undetectable, so it would be medically unnecessary overkill for you to go on Truvada. Furthermore, if you’re still worried about catching my infection, I’d much sooner wear condoms when I top you than have you deal with the side effects of antiretroviral meds like I’ve had to.”

  • Throbert McGee

    I’m sure your partners appreciate the pre-defined the boundaries of your “sex life.” But maybe you should discuss these control issues and fear of intimacy with your therapist.

    When searching for partners, I am always conscientious about saying, right up front, “I love frot, oral, and even WS if you’re into that, but I’m not into anal at all, period.” In other words, my partners cannot possibly claim that they weren’t forewarned about my boundaries and “fear of intimacy.”

    Oddly enough, however, SOME guys think that “I’m not into anal (and I know I’m not into it because I’ve tried it before as a top and a bottom and found them both lacking)” is some kind of Top Secret Code for “Please try to talk me into anal, dude! In fact, I’d find it super-sexy if you told me on our third date how you can hardly wait to get tested together so that you can be inside me bareback with nothing between us.”

    This was not a one-time fluke; it’s happened to me with at least four different guys in the years since my first and only LTR ended.

    So, I would suggest that I’m not the one with “control issues” or totally screwed-up notions of “intimacy.”

  • Teeth

    @Throbert McGee: Yet you are single and go through men faster than I go through shoes. People don’t like being with you, apparently. Maybe they miss sex.

  • Geeker

    I’m a top and I still would never bareback anyone,until there’s a CURE I’ll be wrapping it up.

  • EdgarCarpenter

    Larry’s just being sex-negative again. Some people never work through all of that crap from their childhoods, and Larry’s always been one of them. You’ll not find Larry celebrating the glories of sex – he’ll admit that he does or did it, and even enjoyed it, but for him, sex from childhood onward has been bound with briers and covered with lots of social and physical shouldn’ts and don’ts. The emergence of HIV just added some more burdens to his already difficult sexuality.

    It’s not that he’s a grouchy old man, @ET, he was a grouchy young man, too – I remember his nasty tirades against other gay men decades ago. His age has not made him less or more nasty, vicious and self righteous.

    All of what has transpired in the gay movement in New York and the world would have happened with or without Larry. It might have taken different paths in some local ways, but it would have gotten to the same places, perhaps more quickly.

    I’ve never liked his attacks on other gay people and his distaste for sex, and have never understood why he’s been given so much attention. It’s wasted on him, you know – he still thinks poorly of your ability to think for yourself and of your morals. I’m sure he likes someone, somewhere – but it wouldn’t be you, if you’re comfortable in your own skin and freely enjoy a great sex life.

  • Jeton Ademaj

    @freecrs: i need to interrupt this Queerty thread to inform you all that Larry Kramer does not speak for ACT UP New York on this or any other issue. no one speaks for ACT UP NY except ACT UP NY. in practice that means a collective Monday night Floor vote, or in rare time-sensitive cases, by a majority decision of the Emergency Response Team.

    ACT UP New York voted to support the implementation of PrEP over a year ago, along with the ENTIRE HIV prevention armamentarium…which we have compiled as the Smarter Sex/Fuck Smarter Toolkit.

    we were instrumental in getting the NYC DOHMH to release guidelines for nPEP last summer, and getting the New York State Dept of Health to issue PrEP guidelines this past January…and we have a working relationship with both.

    furthermore, we recently sought and succeeded in scheduling a meeting with senior CDC officials early next month to discuss PrEP among our most serious concerns…and within a few weeks, the CDC released its Final Guidelines on PrEP. a happy coincidence.

    PrEP is not for everyone, but it can be a profoundly helpful and powerful HIV prevention tool for many. the CDC conservatively estimates 500,000 Americans are eligible for it in terms of risk profile.

    one extremely useful aspect of PrEP that’s usually lost in these flamewars is that getting it requires visiting a doctor for regular HIV/STD screening and a general enrollment in care. all by itself, that is a huge contribution to controlling the spread of STD’s…particularly in young men.

    we are all facing an emergency of HIV risk. 50% of gay men of college age now are likely to be HIV+ by age 50…or sooner. 50% of black gay men of college age now are likely to be HIV+ by age 35…or sooner. clearly more tools are needed to fight what could easily become an existential threat to our community.

    the moralists who cried “insurance will never pay for PrEP!” failed to note the cold hard facts that actuarial analysts deal in: dollars and cents. it’s far cheaper to temporarily prevent HIV with 2 drugs than to permanently treat it and associated conditions with 3++ drugs…thus most or all insurance companies pay for it. Truvada (the 2-medication combo pill now approved for PrEP) has over a dozen years of history in millions of patients since the drugs in it were approved. It is fairly safe for almost all, despite Kramer’s completely unscientific and irresponsible description of is as a “poison”.

    slut-shaming (or whatever you try to call it) is a grievous and well-proven failure in preventing HIV in any community. Larry Kramer remains a hero to humanity, and especially to Queer and HIV-positive people. without him there may still not yet exist any effective HIV Treatment. i owe him my life, truly.

    He has never been good at HIV prevention, however. yep…

    Combination Prevention (using multiple risk reduction measures) is what has always worked best for people. now there are combinations that allow for Much Safer Sex, including (gong!) Safer Barebacking. yep, read that again.

    EVERYONE: use whatever works for you, and nothing else…but if you attack the choices of others, expect the same attacks in return.

    we all benefit more from win-win thinking.

    Jeton Ademaj
    Prevention of HIV Group

  • Jeton Ademaj

    oops, that’s actually:

    Prevention of HIV Action Group

    proud PHAG here. :-)

  • Throbert McGee

    one extremely useful aspect of PrEP that’s usually lost in these flamewars is that getting it requires visiting a doctor for regular HIV/STD screening and a general enrollment in care.

    That is a very important point, and as long as this remains true (i.e., so long as PrEP isn’t made “excessively convenient”), that’s a point in PrEP’s favor.

    Andrew Sullivan, for one, argued in a column last summer that Truvada should be made available over-the-counter — but then again, Sullivan is a completely insane fraud and it’s not fair to assume that he represents all PrEP advocates. Still, it’s important for responsible PrEP advocates to hold the line on this.

    For example, I’m not sure what the actual regulations are, but I’d suggest that physicians should only be permitted to prescribe, say, one month of PrEP plus one refill at a time — thus forcing PrEP users to be tested and monitored by doctors several times per year.

  • Throbert McGee


    Yet you are single and go through men faster than I go through shoes. People don’t like being with you, apparently.

    Er, say what?

    Apart from attending a group circle-jerk party about three times a year, I’ve had TWO long-term “friends with benefits / sex-buddies” in the past five years. One of the reasons I prefer the “buddy” approach at this time in my life is that I got tired of trying to date men who said they were looking for “a serious boyfriend,” but who — at the age of 35 or older — had never seen a Long Term Relationship past the stage where you’re still measuring it in “monthiversaries.”

    My two “buddies” (who did not overlap each other) wanted a steady arrangement with me because they enjoy my company, and also because they know I won’t pester them for anal sex, which not all “MSMs” consider appealing. (I’m not embarrassed about my tearooming, but I haven’t done that since I finished college in 1993 and have no nostalgic desire to do it again. It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve had a watersports buddy — good ones are hard to find — but I’d certainly enjoy more of that in the future. To me, WS “feels more vanilla” than anal sex, and always has.)

    Maybe they miss sex.

    If Pat Robertson or Maggie Gallagher said that “gay men think that sex isn’t sex unless the rectum is involved,” not only gay men but legions of straight “progressives” would be lining up to scold these awful right-wingers for Homophobic Stereotyping.

    Are you sure you’re not a Christian Conservative troll, Teeth?

  • Throbert McGee

    ACT UP New York voted to support the implementation of PrEP over a year ago, along with the ENTIRE HIV prevention armamentarium. which we have compiled as the Smarter Sex/Fuck Smarter Toolkit.

    Perchance, is frot included among the tools in the Toolkit?

    And if so, does it actually get mentioned “above the fold,” or is it just a tiny footnote that doesn’t actually compare and contrast interrelated concepts like “mutual masturbation” and “frottage” and “docking”, and doesn’t offer practical instructions about, for instance, the “target areas” (some guys like it frenulum-on-frenulum; others may prefer glans-on-perineum).

  • Throbert McGee

    I know that perhaps 80% of gay men really enjoy anal sex, and I’m not interested in discouraging them, since I might change my mind someday and start experimenting in that direction again.

    But for Pete’s sake, “frottage” (by whatever name you want to call it) ought to be one of the major weapons in the anti-HIV arsenal — not just an asterisked footnote — because it’s essentially zero-HIV-risk, requires no trips to the drugstore, no daily pills, and isn’t dependent on corporate or government subsidies. It does, however, require a willingness of safer-sex educators to vigorously promote “frottage” as ONE of the “condom alternatives.”

    (And, yes, I’m aware that Bill “granddaddy of frot” Weintraub is a very shrill “slut-shamer” and conflates the positive safer-sex message with negative attacks on “effeminacy” and other things he dislikes. That doesn’t make “frot” a bad safer-sex concept; it just makes Weintraub’s approach to the subject bad.)

  • queerT

    @Jeton Ademaj: ” i need to interrupt this Queerty thread to inform you all that Larry Kramer does not speak for ACT UP New York on this or any other issue. no one speaks for ACT UP NY except ACT UP NY. in practice that means a collective Monday night Floor vote”
    Which is why it’s a worthless joke of an organization now.

  • Jeton Ademaj

    @Throbert McGee: the Toolkit is a dense flyer that covers *everything* in Prevention. there is no room for flourishes, and the document is carefully paired down to pure facts. i’ll post a link if i find one, we’re reorganizing our Web presence. we’ll certainly be handing it out again at the various Pride events in NYC and at Folsom East.

    i am personally NOT a frot devotee, and i have given up personally trying to convince such devotees to evangelize their practice *in terms of its erotic merits, as opposed to simply attacking anal sex*. since i am a devotee of Safer Barebacking myself, my efforts are commonly taken with cheap suspicion. please keep in mind that none other than Richard Berkowitz says that he and Michael Callen invented Safer Sex “for the fucking…to keep the fucking happening. i was a slut and didn’t want to stop, frankly. never let anyone tell you different”.

    if you’d like to take on the goal of evangelizing Frot, you are quite welcome to…but i’d suggest adding more effort to the “why it’s hot” explications, and not simply focus on “why it’s safer”. yes, Bill Weintraub is a permanent punch-line of mine, and an albatross around the neck of Larry Kramer’s HIV-prevention credentials. that Larry could peruse Weintraub’s site and declare it could turn the tide back in 2006 is just facepalm worthy.

    i send guys (mostly str8’s) to that site whenever i want to show how neurotic gay men can be. no offense, you don’t seem quite as nutty as Weintraub so i’m hopeful to be clear that i hope we can be allies.

    no one can hope to be credible evangelizing sex practices they don’t engage in themselves, so i will never be a great Frot advocate, and i doubt you will ever be a great Safer Barebacking advocate…but Prevention is more important than our personal sexual menus.

  • Jeton Ademaj

    @queerT: your cheap insults are the worthless jokes, “queerT”…ACT UP New York has accomplished more in HIV Prevention since the Spring of 2013 than in all its previous years combined, and not a moment too soon.

    the community of HIV/AIDS activism and the governments of New York City and State all know we’re a force to be reckoned with, and our momentum is building. the time is ripe for a revolution in HIV and STI prevention. we will capitalize.

    now, what do YOU do to fight HIV? details, thanks.

    “uhm, i’m ‘queerty’ and i throw shade on Queerty…that’s my thing”.


  • Jeton Ademaj

    @Throbert McGee: uhm, btw, you are incorrect. testosterone most certainly does absorb through the rectal wall…it even absorbs thru the vaginal wall.

    incidentally, i personally don’t ever “bully” anyone into taking my load, i let them know at the first hints of interest that there’s only one way i play, raw n deep seeding. when some decline, if they’re sexy enough i’ll tell them “no sweat, holler if u change your mind”, but usually i just move on. if they prefer to argue, i’m always happy to…i’m good at that.

    most oddly, i notice the ones who i simply ignored after they decline are the ones who accuse me of “bullying”. if they don’t get to reject FIRST, they were “bullied”.

    the best Safer Sex to have is the Safer Sex people actually choose to engage in, and that varies widely. attacking the practices of those who forego condoms is a great way to get your own sex practices mocked. who benefits?

  • Bob

    What bothers me here, and I apologize if I missed any, is I do not see even one comment about being involved politically.
    I’m sure partly due to the reactionary title of the article.
    I think the BIG criticism and concern by him is young gay people, with all of their disposable money and time, still aren’t getting politically involved.
    I’m not slut shaming, I am “why aren’t gays more concerned about being politically involved then getting laid” shaming.

  • Jeton Ademaj

    uh, Bob…have you read closely? ACT UP New York is resurgent. the first ever National HIV Decriminalization conference is being held in a week in Grinnell, Iowa.

    there is more going on than you seem to be aware of. seek and ye shall find!

  • queerT

    Oh yeah, enabling people to spread HIV without consequences. Real great work. ACT UP is all about getting even more entitlements for the already entitled poz and to make barebacking the norm. You got your AZT. STFU.

  • Jimmy

    @queerT: My guess is you’re a gay Republican.

  • Geeker

    Won’t poz guys barebacking just lead to a stronger strain of HIV?

  • Jeton Ademaj

    @queerT: in fact that’s not at all what i’m doing, as most HIV prosecutions involve no transmission, no intent to transmit, and either remote or non-existent risk of transmission.

    criminalizing HIV has mostly helped to spread it. unfortunately a few of my allies on this issue bring a wider agenda of prison abolition but they don’t speak for most.

    go read up on the law passed in Iowa reforming their previously monstrous legal situation. ACTUALLY READ IT, and THEN try telling me what your SPECIFIC problem is with it.

    i doubt you’ll have much to say, except (maybe) some more empty trolling.

  • seaguy

    Larry Kramer is a bitter old queen who should keep his opinions to himself.

  • seaguy

    @randyism: A little paranoid are we?

  • seaguy

    @NotHavingIt: the point would be added protection, condoms can break.

  • seaguy

    @ChiChi Man: to some who are seeking a more natural and intimate sexual experience taking PrEP is going to be preferable to wearing a condom which for many takes some of the feeling out of sex when worn. the more options out there for guys the better.

  • Clark35

    Throbert McGee who has done porn has herpes and HPV.

    Larry Kramer is a batshit crazy vindictive queen that even gay men and the larger LGBT community ignore for good reason.

Comments are closed.