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Andrew Sullivan and Rich Juzwiak Continue Their Discussion on Gay Sex, Truvada: AUDIO

Rich

Andrew Sullivan sat down with Gawker's Rich Juzwiak to continue their discussion of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and to dissect the thought processes behind the often-taboo idea that people prefer sex sans condoms.

“People aren’t necessarily that articulate about it, they maybe don’t even understand that exactly,” Juzwiak explained, laying out a description of the intimacy sometimes associated bareback sex. “I’m not culturally a barebacker [but if] I have to do monogamy or something like it, my compensation is we’re not using condoms.”

Listen to Juzwiak’s discussion of PrEP’s place in modern gay culture with On The Media AFTER THE JUMP...

Juzwiak has been one of the internet’s most vocal and high-profile proponents of Truvada, a brand of PrEP that, when used properly, drastically reduces a person’s risk of contracting HIV. Despite protestations from those arguing that PrEP poses more harms than potential benefits, Juzwiak has made a cause out of  the controversial drug.

“If you don't contract HIV from bareback sex, was it unsafe?” He wrote earlier this spring. “What does it even matter? Just do better next time and take solace in the personal rules—somewhat informed, somewhat arbitrary—that you suspect are keeping you protected.”

Juzwiak’s assertion is a rather straightforward one: gay men are having sex without condoms, and they might as well be doing it with at least a modicum of preventative protection:

"But what hasn't harmed you in the past, if you're one of the luckily negative like I am, could still harm you when you do it in the future. Owning up to this fact is a crucial step in choosing to take Truvada, the antiretroviral drug cocktail of tenofovir and emtricitabine that's manufactured by Gilead."

 

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Comments

  1. "I'm a serious writer so look at my arms."

    Posted by: Tigernan | Aug 7, 2014 8:39:58 AM


  2. If Rich Juzwiak wants to take Truvada, good luck to him. Just don't come crying to me 5 years down the track should you develop erectile dysfunction or heart embolisms.

    Posted by: petey | Aug 7, 2014 8:49:26 AM


  3. Before the comments start going haywire - Rich discontinued taking Truvada because he experienced bad side effects. But he's still advocating for it for those who insist on barebacking.

    Posted by: Hugh | Aug 7, 2014 8:57:59 AM


  4. People should take TRuvada if they are too stupid, ignorant or negligent to wear condoms.

    Then again if people are being that stupid and negligent about condoms why would taking a pill be easier for them.

    And what are the longterm side effects of this medication?

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 7, 2014 9:13:59 AM


  5. I thought the discussion between the two was very good.
    I don't understand the anti-Truvada position, I truly don't. If you're going to have sex with people who might infect you, and you're not into condoms, isn't better to contribute to herd hygiene than not?

    Posted by: enough already | Aug 7, 2014 9:14:01 AM


  6. Does

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 7, 2014 9:14:11 AM


  7. Does Andrew 'Milky Loads' Sullivan still pretend he became positive through oral?

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 7, 2014 9:14:45 AM


  8. OK, the comments can go haywire now...and get my day off to a good start.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 7, 2014 9:15:09 AM


  9. Does PrEP cause all the heinous bodily side effects it does in (many) guys taking it to manage HIV (e.g., liver trouble, fat redistribution, etc.)?

    Posted by: Dave | Aug 7, 2014 9:21:42 AM


  10. I have been on Truvada for 6 months. I am in a monogamous relationship with a guy that has been positive for 6 years. I have no side effects. We remain safe but why not take an extra precaution. I am well educated Phd and have done my research prior to starting the medication. I honestly think anyone, gay or straight should be on a PrEP.

    Posted by: Todd | Aug 7, 2014 9:50:27 AM


  11. Before truvada I tell him I'm HIV negative..Ok lets have BB sex

    After Truvad I tell him I'm on Truvada..OK let's have BB sex


    1 of 6 say the use condoms...the rest are irresponsible bastards...how responsible are tehy going to be about taking a bill everday that cost around 1,400 dollars a month and thsts with a discount..

    take truvada usecondoms, but first be responsible and that is the one part most are not...

    Posted by: Me | Aug 7, 2014 9:50:30 AM


  12. There are many, many other STDs easier to get than HIV. Condoms do offer some protection from them, Truvada does not. Internal HPV? Way easier to get than HIV.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Aug 7, 2014 9:52:19 AM


  13. I have a boyfriend for two years and we have had sex with other men on 2 separate occasions and we both used condoms. The last encounter was five or six months ago. I guess taking the pill is a practical choice for those who are single and f*cking different men all the time. Honestly, it sounds like a very good choice to me.

    Posted by: Marty | Aug 7, 2014 10:00:48 AM


  14. "“If you don't contract HIV from bareback sex, was it unsafe?” He wrote earlier this spring. “What does it even matter? Just do better next time and take solace in the personal rules—somewhat informed, somewhat arbitrary—that you suspect are keeping you protected.”"

    Ridiculous. If a person jumps off a 10-storey building and somehow lands unscathed, it doesn't make the jump less dangerous.

    The rules are not arbitrary. Condoms, i.e. a physical barrier, if used properly, provide the best means to avoid contracting a host of STIs, including but not limited to HIV.


    "I don't understand the anti-Truvada position, I truly don't. If you're going to have sex with people who might infect you, and you're not into condoms, isn't better to contribute to herd hygiene than not?"

    I am not at all opposed to Truvada if the side effects are indeed minimal for all but a stastically tiny minority of users, and if it reduces overall HIV infection rates.

    What I take issue with is the argument that Truvada is a substitute for condoms, and that it's existence somehow forecloses any substantive debate about barebacking.

    Posted by: Nat | Aug 7, 2014 10:06:33 AM


  15. Rich has started taking Truvada again according to one of his most recent columns. And this time around, he's not experiencing any side effects.

    He's actually one of the better writers at Gawker. (not that that's saying much)

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 7, 2014 10:14:56 AM


  16. Thank heavens it doesn't matter what the hell this idiot thinks, but it's a shame that he will influence a tiny minority of deeply stupid gay men and that's a problem for all of us.

    Don't be an idiot. Don't think condoms are the work of the devil when their entire purpose is to save your life. Don't volunteer to take an immensely powerful drug when not one person on the face of the Earth knows its long-term consequences.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it with something that could break you -- just put on a damn condom like a sane, responsible grown man.

    Posted by: oncemorefeeling | Aug 7, 2014 10:52:44 AM


  17. Andrew Sullivan is a "provoca-whore"

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Aug 7, 2014 10:55:59 AM


  18. wow, the commenters here are the worst.

    if you aren't educated enough to know what you are talking about, just shut your cunty comment mouth and listen.

    Posted by: adam | Aug 7, 2014 11:18:57 AM


  19. An alternative to this preventative sex-life-long chemotherapy would be to avoid brainwashing young gays into thinking that they must have anal sex.
    I come from a country where most gay people don't have anal sex. I guess it's a cultural thing, because the level of anal obsession of American gays is just unbelievable.

    Posted by: Pandion | Aug 7, 2014 11:47:44 AM


  20. Pandion, where the h*ll are you from? And do you really believe that?

    I know in Muslim countries many men have anal sex with their girlfriends to not have sex before marriage...

    You can't be from Europe because that line is false.

    Posted by: Rowan | Aug 7, 2014 11:57:37 AM


  21. LOL @ "....because the level of anal obsession of American gays is just unbelievable."

    No, darlin', it's not just the little 'ol anus--it's the whole butt...the whole enchalata. LOL

    Just when I thought it'd be a dull day on Towleroad.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 7, 2014 12:10:34 PM


  22. ENCHILATA

    pardon my French.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 7, 2014 12:14:31 PM


  23. Andrew Sullivan, shut up for a while if not forever.

    Posted by: Richard | Aug 7, 2014 12:14:57 PM


  24. Regardless of how we all feel about Truvada, I wish Towleroad could have a thread just to discuss how awful Rich Juzwiak is. My friends and I love to mock his strident narcissism.

    Posted by: Sergio | Aug 7, 2014 12:21:02 PM


  25. You're ridiculous, people. I'm from the UK and I can assure you most gays don't have anal sex there or in other parts of Europe I've visited. Those who do are a known minority, the brownies.
    Fellatio, frot, mutual masturbation, intercrural sex are the most common activities in bed for two men.
    Now, if you were conditioned from an early age to love being f****d, good for you (except for all the diseases that you're going to get - sorry about that), but don't assume it's a universal taste.

    Posted by: Pandion | Aug 7, 2014 12:24:34 PM


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