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To Battle Stigma, Out Rep. Brian Sims Goes Public on His PrEP Use

Brian Sims reveals PrEP use

The Pennsylvania lawmaker said the LGBTQ community must not allow shame to sully the HIV preventative.

Out Pennsylvania representative Brian Sims opened up on Instagram about his own use of PrEP, the highly effective means of preventing HIV transmission.

Alongside a picture of a Truvada pill, the state lawmaker wrote about pre-exposure prophylaxis, but made clear he had no interest in discussing why he uses the prevention method.

"Starting this day off smart, proactive, and in control!" Sims wrote in his social media post. "Think this is an invite to talk about my sex life? It's not. Think it's an invite to shame me or anyone else? Grow up."

[instagram expand=1 site_id=25879312 embed_desktop_width=540 embed_desktop_height=907 embed_mobile_width=375 embed_mobile_height=778]

Sims, the first openly gay man elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, wants to remove some of the stigma and secrecy around the use of Truvada for prevention. PrEP has a 99 percent efficacy rate at preventing transmission of the HIV virus.

While the treatment has been around since 2012, surveys show a majority of Americans remain unaware of PrEP or its effectiveness. Moreover, some studies have found significant public shaming, with the term "Truvada whores" lobbed at some who use PrEP.

Sims suggests in his post that allowing such stigma to spread only hurts the LGBTQ community.

"'Stigma' is the thing our enemies want us to be stunted by," he wrote. "It literally kills us. It's stupid and we control our own fate. No shame in this game. Just Pride."

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