Zachary Quinto has issued a follow-up to the response he's received from his interview in OUT magazine's OUT 100 issue where he had some stern words to say about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the gay community's "complacency" when it comes to the spread of HIV.
Said Quinto in the interview:
AIDS has lost the edge of horror it possessed when it swept through the world in the ’80s…Today’s generation sees it more as something to live with and something to be much less fearful of. And that comes with a sense of, dare I say, laziness…[On PrEP,] We need to be really vigilant and open about the fact that these drugs are not to be taken to increase our ability to have recreational sex…There’s an incredible underlying irresponsibility to that way of thinking…and we don’t yet know enough about this vein of medication to see where it’ll take us down the line.
Here's a portion of Quinto's follow-up, published over at The Huffington Post:
I am a staunch advocate for the rights and well-being of the LGBT community. I have deep compassion and empathy for people living with HIV/AIDS. I am assuredly not internally homophobic or poz-phobic or willfully ignorant regarding this issue. I am a well-adjusted and well-educated gay man. I have read and understand the way PrEP works, and at least the most basic science behind its practical applications — although I am always open to learning more. I support and encourage the amazing work done by HIV/AIDS awareness organizations — as well as the many research and treatment organizations that exist across the country and the world. I did not intend to make generalizations about the LGBT community at large — or people living with HIV/AIDS or people in love with someone living with HIV/AIDS.
What troubles me — and what I was trying to speak to in my interview — is an attitude among (some of) the younger generation of gay men — that we can let our guard down against this still very real threat to our collective well-being. I have had numerous conversations in my travels with young gay people who see the threat of HIV as diminished to the point of near irrelevance. I have heard too many stories of young people taking PrEP as an insurance policy against their tendency toward unprotected non-monogamous sex. THAT is my only outrage.
How gay men have sex with each other was unilaterally redefined for nearly two generations as a result of AIDS. I was simply trying to assert my belief that we need to be especially vigilant and accountable to ourselves and one another at this moment in our evolution. It is a tremendous advancement in the fight against the disease that scientists have developed this particular medication. But it's still early — that's all.
Read Quinto's full response here.