That’s right, Michael finds his friends discussing how condoms are dead in the era of PrEP. While Truvada for PrEP, if taken daily, can decrease the likelihood of acquiring HIV by 99%, it doesn’t protect against other STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Michael makes that abundantly clear in the video, only to receive judgment for stating the facts.
While HIV rates are steadily declining overall in the United States (although not for queer men of color), other STIs are heavily increasing in the gay community. Researchers aren’t convinced the rise of STIs are due to increased barebacking from PrEP, but from my personal experience with Grindr in NYC, I can confidently say that only a fraction of a men on the app use condoms if on PrEP.
We reached out to Michael to ask what inspired the video. He told PRIDE, "My own experiences along with my partners I’ve been with and the conversations I’ve had with friends."
"Everyone that was on PrEP was also doing a fair amount of barebacking, which is their prerogative. No judgment," he continued. "But I did judge their lack of care for getting all the other STIs, and how they were so opposed to using condoms to prevent them."
"Then they judged me for using condoms and made me feel dumb or like a hypocrite or like I didn’t know what I was talking about. It really made me do a lot of research and rethinking and I’m still not sure if there is a concrete conclusion to be made here. I’m still figuring it out. But I’m a condom advocate in the meantime."
Watch the Michael Henry's new video below!