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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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