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Getting frank about PrEP

AIDS Committee of Toronto's discussion group gets men together to talk about sex

Frank is a monthly discussion group for gay, bi and queer men, with topics ranging from dating to having better sex. Credit: AIDS Committee of Toronto

The AIDS Committee of Toronto wants to get frank with you about PrEP.

Frank is a monthly discussion group for men who have sex with men, hosted by ACT. The group is meant to create an informal, relaxed atmosphere where guys can get together to discuss topics of interest to gay or bi men; anything from dating and relationships, to having better sex.

On May 16, 2016, the conversation will be everything to do with PrEP and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

“It’s a place for honest conversations,” says Rui Pires, ACT’s community and education coordinator for gay men. “We want it to be as inclusive as possible, including people who are living with, or affected by, HIV.”

Pires, who leads the discussion groups, finds that while a surprising number of men do know about PrEP, it’s the education behind it that requires the most attention. “The most important thing . . . is understanding that PrEP should be done with medical supervision,” he says. “It’s not something you do for a weekend.”

It also requires knowing if PrEP is right for your wallet. “People are in different situations,” he says, noting that finances are a common barrier for men who may be considering PrEP.

And while Truvada has been getting most of the attention, PEP is also an option that Pires says men should be keeping in mind. “Men who are occasional condom users should consider the options,” he says. “If you can’t afford PrEP, you might be able to have PEP.”

While drop-ins are welcome, men who are interested in meeting up to discuss PEP and PrEP should RSVP ahead of time.