Minerva's Breakdown 

Advice for those on the verge

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Dear Minerva,

I've been considering taking PrEP [Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, brand name Truvada, is a pill that prevents HIV infection], but I'm worried about how people will react. I don't want to stop using condoms, but life happens sometimes, right? I hear "Truvada Whore" tossed around often, and it gives me a stomach ache every time I do. I really just want to protect myself, and I think this might be a good way, but I honestly don't think I have the courage to deal with the haters. What do you think?

­—Needing a PrEP Talk

Dear PrEP Talk,

You don't have the courage to deal with the haters? Do you have the courage to deal with HIV or passing it along to a partner? Taking charge of your sexual health is not shameful and doesn't make you a whore. If you want to start PrEP and you think it is right for your sexual wellbeing, do it. Yes, life happens, but PrEP will not protect you from other STDs and STIs, and there have been significant STD breakouts in Idaho. Don't ditch the condoms: You owe it to yourself and your partners to be as responsible as possible. With more than 50,000 new cases of HIV in the United States each year, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment, because sugar, there is no cure. Talk to your doctor about PrEP, including cost, insurance coverage and side effects.

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