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Manhunt to Promote HIV Prevention Pill Truvada for World AIDS Day: 'A Choice When Condoms are in the Way...'


Gay hook-up site Manhunt will promote the recently-FDA-approved drug Truvada, which claims to reduce the risk of HIV infection, for this year's World AIDS Day, they announced via press release:

TruvadaManhunt™ will promote Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for this year’s World AIDS Day.  Manhunt is the world’s largest online and mobile sexual networking site for gay men. This is the first time a worldwide promotion of Truvada, the recently approved U.S. FDA HIV Prevention Pill, has appeared on the site.  Manhunt has partnered with Gladstone Institutes’ Dr. Robert Grant and The Fenway Institute to assure that the information conveyed is accurate and consistent with peer-reviewed published science. This promotion is part of Manhunt’s 2012 Social Responsibility Initiative, and it is entirely self-funded.

The promotion is being sent to over 2.5 million Manhunt members on World AIDS Day through Manhunt’s internal email broadcast system with the following tagline:

“HIV Prevention Pill for Negative Men (and women too): A choice when condoms are in the way or not enough?”

The campaign encourages members to visit Manhunt Cares™ dedicated PrEP page to learn more about this important biomedical intervention.

“We are thrilled to work with Manhunt and The Fenway Institute to educate a worldwide audience of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men regarding PrEP,” says Dr. Grant.  “It’s critical to have an online community partner that sees the value of providing accurate information about this biomedical intervention.”

The campaign highlights three educational resources for Manhunt members to learn more about PrEP: reading the PrEP fact sheets and research articles; watching a short video from Huffington Post Live on PrEP; and reviewing Positive Frontier’s series called “My Life On PrEP”.

One of the research papers featured is The Fenway Institute’s PLOS ONE publication “Limited Awareness and Low Immediate Uptake of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis among Men Who Have Sex with Men Using an Internet Social Networking Site.”  The study’s Principal Investigator, Dr. Ken Mayer, Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute, believes that much work is required to increase awareness of PrEP, and that “this campaign is just the beginning of increasing men’s awareness of this intervention.”

FDA Approves Truvada Which Claims to Reduce Risk of HIV Infection: VIDEO [tlrd]

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  1. As we've said on our Manhunt Daily blog, we aren't telling anyone to stop using condoms if they already do. But we are eager to help the Gladstone and Fenway Institutes open up the conversation about PrEP and to provide our members access to the facts and research they need to consider whether it may (or may not) be an option for them. If you're interested in learning more, you can find those resources here:

    Posted by: Manhunt | Nov 30, 2012 5:07:19 PM

  2. a) I did not imply that all bottoms are "gender-non-conformists", only that virtually all "gender-non-conformists" are bottoms (if you want to call trying to act like a woman in every respect and thinking of your sexuality in womanly terms being a "bottom", when in reality it only constitutes being a pseudo-women, totally different in my mind from guys with male identities who like to bottom)......and I don't have contempt for guys that bottom, only those that are effeminate and cowardly and idolize women and mimic their behavior....and I would never sleep with the latter because I have absolutely no attraction to them.....after all, if I wanted to f#ck a woman, I would just find a real one rather than an artificial one.

    b) "the fact that we can even comment on this site or that this site is even here, or that you can talk to ANYONE about any m4m sex anywhere, is largely due to drag queens at Stonewall, and the activist "Queens/Queers" that followed. It took the efforts of many types of gays to get where we are - it still does."

    Oh, God, that crap again.....

    1) the overwhelming majority of those involved in the Stonewall riots were NOT drag queens and the "success" of the event did not depend in any way on their presence or the lack thereof.....the gay movement already existed long before Stonewall and would have developed the same way it did afterwards even without Stonewall

    2) "Activist Queers" have not done anything for me or any other gay man who lives in the social mainstream other than embarrass us and deter progress by giving all gay people a bad image. What progress we have made has, on the contrary, been due to gay people who live in the social mainstream gaining the respect of those in power and convincing them to change by demonstrating that, no, we are not all a bunch of tiara-wearing freaks who live at the social margins

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 30, 2012 5:22:18 PM

  3. For a second there, it seemed like Rick/Jason was gone forever. And we were so happy.

    Posted by: MateoM | Nov 30, 2012 7:16:04 PM

  4. Andy's comment and all the responses so far fail to explicitly say the issue with Manhunt's irresponsible position: Truvada can help reduce the chances of getting HIV, but it doesn't prevent transmission very well.

    A key Truvada study in HIV-neg men found it lowered chances of getting HIV by 42%. By my math, that just means you have to have about twice as much unsafe (condomless sex) as you usually do, and you have the same chance of getting HIV. Not what I'd call "safer sex".

    Condoms are way more protective (estimated to reduce chance of infection somewhere between 80-98%). I've used them for every fu*k--maybe 400 times so far (so sue me!), and am still negative.

    The most important role of Truvada and other HIV drugs is in lowering the amount of virus in the body of the HIV-pos guys who take them-- it makes the HIV-pos guys less likely to transmit HIV to their partners.

    Maybe one day there WILL be a pill that reliably protects HIV-neg guys from getting HIV, but it ain't Truvada and it ain't here yet.

    Posted by: Tim | Nov 30, 2012 7:23:47 PM

  5. i use condoms 100% of the time, but i don't for oral sex. We're lectured that oral or rimming can be dangerous, so when so many HIV carriers don't know their status, coupling condoms and this med may make the difference between getting infected and staying clean.

    Posted by: grego | Nov 30, 2012 8:18:06 PM

  6. I'm so glad that Manhunt dropped in our conversation, but whoever posted as Manhunt doesn't address the ridiculous slogan that they're using for their Truvada promotion efforts. Manhunt writes, "we aren't telling anyone to stop using condoms if they already do." Well, actually, yeah, you are telling them that. You're saying "if condoms get in the way" then you don't have to use them anymore. "Just take this pill"... and that pill is not even remotely close to the effectiveness of properly used condoms. Face up to it, Manhunt, you just told people that they don't need to use condoms, but the alternative that you're promoting looks to be about as effective as the ol' pulling-out-before-you-ejaculate technique. How irresponsible of you. What the heck was meeting like when you discussed this promotion? Were their cocktails involved by chance?

    Posted by: RyanInWyo | Nov 30, 2012 9:21:52 PM

  7. Tim: you are incorrect. The study you are referencing that showed a 42% success rate was specifically cited because in those instances the subjects did not regularly take the pill. When the pill is regularly taken, as proven in multiple studies, the success rate is 98%.

    I don't think it's irresponsible for Manhunt or anyone else to suggest that the treatment be looked at. It's rather suspicious that a medication with such potential, approved by the FDA, is rarely discussed or publicized.

    Posted by: Aleksander | Nov 30, 2012 9:28:11 PM

  8. How much of the "must wear condoms every time" is simple paranoia? Transmission is determined by viral load, and even oral transmission has been de-bunked. It would be interesting to know how many new cases are caused by people who haven't yet been tested. My thought is that ALL are.

    Posted by: ty | Nov 30, 2012 9:28:21 PM

  9. RyanInWyo - you should check your facts before you spout off and convict people. It's actually been proven, and approved by the USFDA, to be as effective, or more, than condoms.

    Posted by: RyansAmoron | Nov 30, 2012 9:32:29 PM

  10. Maybe Manhunt was trying to address the hundreds of thousands of stupid guys who bareback all the time and never use condoms. They think that condoms get in the way and ruin sex. Maybe they're just offering an alternative.

    Posted by: Bareback | Nov 30, 2012 9:35:09 PM

  11. Condoms are not 100% either people. Just saying!! Nothing is 100%, except abstinence. We all know the risk's, we all love sex, so who gives a s*&t.. If you don't want to use it, don't! If it is something that you would use great. Either way it is a preventative measure, I myself would rather have any other STD than the one I did get HIV..Taking Tylenol and advil also has side effects, but when your hung over on Sunday morning, is that your first thought?

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 30, 2012 9:37:59 PM

  12. Nobody, no organization and no individual that is responsible would advocate for this drug being promoted the way it has been to the community.

    As "an option" for people that refuse to take any personal responsibility for their own health, however, predictably, this will certainly have it's advocates. It's just too bad that so many of them will be people involved int he manufacture and distribution of the drug itself, masquerading as "people in the community", and that so many people won't see this for exactly what it is.

    The drug companies have desired this for years, to make all of us patients, to have all of us perpetually receiving some form of treatment.

    The reality however has always been, this comes down to choices. You can choose to be a perpetual patient and perpetually medicated for conditions that are practically entirely preventable, or you can choose to pad the pockets of people that don't give a crap about you or your health.

    Choose wisely !

    Posted by: "The Gay" | Nov 30, 2012 11:48:53 PM

  13. Come on, MANHUNT, full disclosure !

    Tell us how much money you're getting paid to poison the community, you toads !

    Posted by: ToddKnows | Dec 1, 2012 12:01:43 AM

  14. Rick--you're despicable.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Dec 1, 2012 12:11:16 AM

  15. In today's day and age, the truth does not matter, what matters is the image. The image that all of us in order to have natural sex, have to be poisoning ourselves to death. The insanity just got kicked up to an unbelievably absurd level. Leave it to World AIDS Day!

    Posted by: BCARTER | Dec 1, 2012 12:49:59 AM

  16. More time should be spent on ad campaigns and billboards reminding gay men that HIV rates are on the rise again and defining what safe sex is.

    Posted by: acevdo | Dec 1, 2012 1:59:28 AM

  17. Are the side effects worse with Truvada than they can be for birth-control? I know, it isn't apples to apples. Many reactions to the pill when it premiered echoed what I'm reading here. I'm torn regarding where I stand on MH's stance on this.
    Right now, I feel like they are just acknowledging that many people just don't use condoms and are literally engaging in high risk behavior with nothing but luck.

    To condemn those people in thought is well its the start of the HIV shaming that goes on. There seems to be very good reason to spread awareness of this to people and to make explicit that it offers some protection.

    Some good points that I've seen in the comments are the possible risks of drug resistant HIV strains being propogated by widespread use of PrEP chemicals.

    Also, the monetary interest of the drug manufacturers seems...suspect.

    Here's a viagara, and some truvada, two matching blue pills, I mean, talk about mixed messages.

    However...can we not pretend that condoms are used to try to prevent much of anything besides HIV. No one uses condoms for oral sex and EVERY OTHER STI IS HIGHLY TRANSFERABLE via oral sex. Where as HIV risk has a lower transmission rate through that activity.

    Also have we considered that high-risk behaviour goes beyond sex. Correct me if I'm wrong but people still use needles to get high right? Wouldn't this be something good for such individuals to use?

    Also...does anyone know the statistics of HIV transferal in instances of rape? My understanding is that post exposure anti-virals are like 60% effective or something near there. So, if you're someone who goes out and drinks heavily, that also could constitute 'high-risk' behaviour as your liklihood of becoming a target (i'm thinking of the classic roofie scenario)is increased. So, perhaps this is another good market for this option?

    Posted by: RavelTrouser | Dec 1, 2012 2:18:23 AM

  18. Unlimited insanity: Truvada to prevent HIV

    AHF Advocacy Against Gilead’s Truvada as HIV Prevention

    Posted by: SearchingForAnswers | Dec 1, 2012 3:42:01 AM

  19. Whoever owns or operates Manhunt: you are assholes. Shameless, morally-bereft assholes.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 1, 2012 11:39:24 AM

  20. I can't believe how many people are against the information getting out. But you all seem very misinformed both about the ad campaign and about Truvada, so I guess you value your lack of information and think others should be equally ignorant? Please don't thrust it on everyone, and support Manhunt getting info out there.

    Posted by: me | Dec 1, 2012 11:42:05 AM

  21. Really, Rick? Then, go ahead. I dare you. Have as much unprotected sex as you want. Enjoy sex "the way it was intended to be enjoyed". Check back with us in about a year. Let us know your HIV status.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 1, 2012 5:20:49 PM

  22. I fought on the front lines in the 80's to get us a way to survive and now I see the fruits of my labor has borne acceptance of a pill that is not a cure but a stop gap measure allowing us to forego common sense. Can't tell you what to do but just be aware the vaccine IS NOT HERE YET!!

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Dec 1, 2012 7:05:16 PM

  23. In what world is a $1300 a month drug treatment "just another alternative" to condom use?

    Posted by: John | Nov 30, 2012 4:11:17 PM



    Yes, it is a promotional campaign and unsavory. How much $ is being spread around to various doctors, institutes, etc.,?


    'The drug companies have desired this for years, to make all of us patients, to have all of us perpetually receiving some form of treatment.'

    The Gay




    Yes they are shameless. Nobody should be surprised by a shameless mega pharmaceutical companies marketing tactics.

    The Fenway Institute and Manhunt are likewise shameless.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 2, 2012 11:00:06 AM


    That should read COMPANY'S not companies.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 2, 2012 11:03:17 AM

  25. here's the facts: condoms suck, and most men agree...period. according to the University of Wisconsin's 2011 study of several thousand MSM, over 2/3 of all MSM sexual encounters in the USA occur RAW. why? because all the bitter, nasty harangues and flames can't make ANY condom feel better.

    FACT: Truvada as PrEP works over 99% if u take it as directed. the "92%" effective figure was for men taking it an average of FOUR days a week.

    FACT: there are many people who can't and wont use condoms AT ALL, but who CAN, WILL and DO take Truvada 100% faithfully. some for treatment, like myself...others for PrEP, like many men i know.

    FACT: the CDC lists condom efficacy at about **80%**, NOT 95%, 98% or whatever other laughably unrealistic percent most condom-boosters claim.

    FACT: the CDC also lists Treatment As Prevention as being 96% effective, per the HPTN 052 study, but in THAT study the only transmission occurred BEFORE the + partner on treatment had reached CONSISTENT undetectability...for those +/- couples that where the + partner DID get to tat stage, there were NO transmissions.

    FACT: the claims that "PrEP is 42% effective or worse" arise from studies in African women where testing found they DID NOT TAKE THE DRUG AT ALL, which makes sense since they THOUGHT they had no incentive to...they had to promise not to get pregnant bcuz the drug might effect their baby, and the Truvada given was both highly stigmatizing to be seen with in their area, AND highly profitable to SELL.

    FACT: Chemoprophylaxis WORKS, and makes sex feel far better. condoms work for many...but will never work for all. apparently, they do not even work for MOST.

    FACT: "behavioral interventions" have proven themselves INSUFFICIENT...they do not work for enough people to halt the epidemic. 30 years in, this is PROVEN.

    FACT: this is the first stage of PrEP...already there is Phase 2 studies of once-monthly nano-formulated injections of both Rilpivirine and a new integrase inhibitor...once that passes Phase 3 testing, there will be a once-monthly PrEP option...making adherence far easier. and when 2-drug monthly injections become 3-drug monthly injections, HIV+ people will also be able to adhere more easily.

    if u want to boost condom use, u can go the easy route n cry n hurl insults ON THE INTERNET....or u might try advocating for the design, manufacture and distribution of inexpensive condoms that feel as good as or BETTER than natural ("raw", "bareback") sex.

    yes, yes..."SCIENCE IS TOO HARD!"

    okay, i'll join the madness: any man who claims that condoms (in any current form) feel even remotely as good as natural sex is either crazy, a liar, a bottom who never tops, a woman, a silly dickless wonder...or some combo of all these things. ;-D

    Posted by: Jeton Ademaj | Dec 2, 2012 3:33:32 PM

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