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You are here News Health Gay men say doctors ill equipped to inform decisions on new HIV drug

Gay men say doctors ill equipped to inform decisions on new HIV drug

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HIV medicationOther than establishing Jeff was gay and administering an HIV test, it appeared to Jeff that his New York City-based primary care doctor did little to address what he considers a paramount health concern — HIV prevention.

“I got the sense [my doctor] didn’t really know about it. It was a general message I was getting: ‘Protect yourself,’” Jeff, a pseudonym so he could discuss his sex life openly, told Al Jazeera.

Condoms, it appeared, were the only answer.

But after taking time from his busy schedule as a college student to consult an HIV health care specialist, who discussed his sexual history with him frankly and at length, Jeff started taking Truvada — a controversial, new anti-retroviral drug said to help prevent HIV infection.

While health authorities across the nation advise gay men to seek appropriate HIV-related health care, advocates say gays have to go the extra mile to seek out information it isn't that difficult to impart.

Truvada, a drug believed to reduce the risk of HIV infection, has been at the center of a recent flurry of debate as prescriptions are starting to “snowball” in U.S. gay life hubs like Seattle and New York, according to health care professionals.

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