PrEP in the eyes of a young Thai gay man

I am young, single, gay, but not on PrEP. I first learnt about PrEP at the birthing stage of TestBKK campaign in 2014. Back then, many of the clinical trials on PrEP were still being conducted or, if they have produced a result, were underpublicized – just like an awesome Facebook status that doesn’t get many Likes. In February 2015 WHO recommended PrEP as an important additional prevention measure for MSM, gay men and sero-discordant couples. Since then, the topic of PrEP has been glamourized more than ever. The PrEP skeptical argues that the medication give people the excuse not to use condoms. The PrEP curious wanders about the long-term effect of the consumption. The new PrEP users want to know how long it takes for PrEP to become protective – and these are just a glimpse of the whole PrEP questions out there that I myself don’t know the answer of. That’s why I put on my audience hat real tight when Dr Colby took the spotlight. There were a lot things I needed to learn about PrEP and I believed many other young audiences in the room felt the same.

Dr Colby, looking sharp in his button-down shirt, explained the nitty gritty of PrEP to respond to the skeptical, the curious and the new users. PrEP doesn’t exist to give free pass for bareback sex. PrEP exist as a great solution to the struggle on the HIV-related behavior change (in this case, the current trend of unsafe sex practice among us humans). Behavior change is not easy, even when the stakes are high. We know that exercise and eating well is important, yet obesity is still on the rise. We also know that tobacco shortens our life span, yet million smokers continue to smoke.