HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

HIV is not only transmitted through sexual contact.

We get it from syringes, we get it from the exchange of bodily fluids, from sex, from open wounds. Not with hugging, breathing, etc. I’m going to respond to the sentence, “I’m straight so I can’t get HIV.” The virus will not say “Oh you’re straight, I’m not infecting you”. Statistically, it may be true that straight people have contracted it at a lower rate because it is a virus that was focused on the LGBTQ+ community in conjunction with drug use. So, it was a combination of that. Pregnant women have HIV as well. It has nothing to do with sexuality because the virus doesn’t choose who it goes to and who it doesn’t go to. It’s just once again a reason to stigmatize the LGBTQ+ community because of rates and different interpretations of the situation. HIV had its outbreak in the early 80s, right? The use of precautions was not widespread, let alone in the LGBTQ+ community.

And in conditions of oppression and fear. Don’t take it too harshly in the sense that the community lives oppressed and struggles to have a partner, relationships, and a “normal” life in the public sphere. This oppression creates a passion and a need for emotional and, by extension, sexual activity. And let’s not forget that there was no information or sample either. And prevention too. Between them, they exchanged information; there was no internet to refer to sources and get information safely. And that’s how they found themselves dying. And then we went to the other stage where there were drugs in the ’90s, and they weren’t given to population groups in the community.

In today’s world, an HIV-positive person, if not properly treated, has a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years. With medication, he has the same life expectancy as a person who is not HIV-positive, and the virus is suppressed. Also very important is PrEP, which prevents you from many things if it suspects you are infected. And it’s very important if it’s available, that information is provided, and testing is done.

What is PrEP?

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a treatment with pills taken either daily or before and after sexual intercourse in a specific dosage and provides – for as long as it lasts – protection against the virus, preventing its transmission to HIV seronegative people. 

It is particularly important to establish the disposition of the treatment. This introduction implements another of the recommendations of the Report of the National Strategy for LGBTQ+ Equality. One of the most critical dimensions of prejudice and institutionalised discrimination against LGBTQ+ people has to do with HIV.  PrEP is appropriate for prescription and reimbursement for people who are at high risk of sexual exposure to HIV. One of these populations disproportionately affected by the virus is men who have sex with men (MSM). Therefore, the administration of treatment is of particular – medical and social – importance and will help combat the stigma faced by this population.

At the same time, the availability of PrEP represents an additional precautionary option, shifting the focus to prevention rather than cure, as is appropriate for all public health issues.