This article was published on March 21st, 2016
Truvada has been dubbed the miracle blue pill for preventing HIV. Taking one pill a day can essentially eliminate the risk of becoming HIV positive. It’s like birth control for gay men. In adult entertainment, models work in an industry where they have an exponentially higher amount of partners that the average person. HIV negative models are now taking PrEP to protect themselves and their future partners, as part of an overall safer-sex program. Bareback porn actor, Aarin Asker, is a big advocate for the use of PrEP.
“Absolutely I would do a scene with a partner who is know to be HIV positive!” said gay porn actor, Aarin Asker, in an exclusive interview with HomoCulture. “I’m on PrEP. There is a medication to take to prevent HIV. It’s something you can take to protect yourself. I’d like to be here 30 years down the road.”
For the last 30 years, public health has been constantly messaging that the only way to reduce the risk of HIV is by using condoms. Although the CDC approved the use of Truvada as PrEP four years ago in the United States, awareness has been slow. The World Health Organization (WHO), endorsed the use of PrEP in 2014. In February 2016, Health Canada finally approved the use of Truvada as PrEP, and the jurisdiction is now in the process of re-adjusting insurance policies, roll-out to the medical and health communities, and putting guidelines in place.
Guys who were early adopters of PrEP have faced similar sigma’s that people living with HIV have had. Slut shaming, blame for spreading HIV and STI’s, and sexual irresponsibility are common. It’s a struggle that most people who start taking PrEP don’t expect.
“I think there is a stigma against guys who shoot bareback porn,” said Aarin Asker, who, while relatively still new within the adult entertainment industry, has made his mark as a bareback (unprotected sex), cum and piss pig. “Guys that are watching bareback porn are discussing it, because it’s new.” The adult entertainment industry is always looking for new tools and methods to reduce the risk of HIV. The gay porn industry is constantly advancing the advocacy for these new programs, to protect the models, their most valuable assets.
“I think it’s a personal responsibility,” said Aarin Asker, stating his position on whether it’s the role of the model, the studio, or the agent to ensure HIV negative models have the tools available to protect themselves against HIV. “It’s on you to make sure you are seeking out the resources. There are a lot of resources out there, even if you don’t have insurance.”
Drug companies, like Gilead Sciences, offer programs to help people who wish to be on Truvada as PrEP, but who are not completely covered by insurance or a medical plan.
There’s been a large shift over the past years of many notable names in the gay adult entertainment industry of models taking PrEP to protect themselves. It’s a signal to others that it’s a valuable tool to consider as part of your own personal HIV risk reduction strategy.
“You are in control of your own body,” says Aarin Asker.