We all know that Salt-N-Pepa are famously known for creating a safe space to openly discuss sex from the black female perspective in a male dominated music industry. Despite our sexual history of being seen as hypersexual and promiscuous, these brave ladies consistently express their sexual agency one lyric at a time. Wouldn't it be nice to be sexually liberated while using condoms and lube with no worries of contracting HIV? (Need to know more about HIV/AIDS including how it's contracted? Click here.) Well don't worry there is one way this is possible...
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a prescribed medication that if taken daily by HIV negative individuals, can reduce their chance of contracting HIV. According to the CDC, PrEP can stop HIV from attaching and spreading throughout your body. It is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently. Taking PrEP daily reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%, while people who inject drugs, can reduce their risk by more than 70%. The risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if PrEP is combined with other prevention methods including condoms and lube. For more info about different types of condoms click here; for lube info click here.
Right now, the only PrEP medication on the market is provided by Gilead Sciences, Inc. under the name of Truvada. Check out the Truvada website including their new commercial here.
PrEP has been available since 2012 but black women still don't know very much about it because majority of marketing efforts have gone towards men who have sex with men (MSM). Black MSM have higher rates of HIV than black women which explains the lack of PrEP awareness among us and heterosexual black men. Nonetheless, black women have the second highest rates of HIV right behind MSM which is why PrEP is just as important to our sexual health. This is why some major cities took it upon themselves to create their own campaigns focused on black women.
Washington, D.C. has a PrEP awareness campaign for all women. Check out their website here.
The Black AIDS Institute launched their own Black Women and PrEP campaign. Check out their website here.