Open Panel PrEP Debate – Brighton Sexpression 2016
Brighton Sexpression Conference 2016 ended with a chance for the participants to ask any questions they had about PrEP. Jason Domino was accompanied by Greg Owen and Dr Will Nutland. Together they addressed questions ranging from strategy planning to the social impact of making medication like PrEP available.
The conference ran over two days and had a number of in-depth lectures on sexual topics in today’s society. Importantly, stigma towards people living with HIV was explored and the phrase “Undetectable means Uninfectious” was echoed. They are powerful words that dispel fears for HIV negative people; fears that they could catch HIV from a correctly-medicated person living with HIV on anti-retroviral therapy.
“Undetectable” refers to a medical state that someone living with HIV can reach. It’s a state where a person’s viral load is too small for modern equipment to detect. Modern viral counting machines can pick up on a viral load as low as 20 in someones blood. By comparison, a viral load of 500 is needed before an infection can be transmitted from anal sex. 1,000 needed for transmission via vaginal sex. It is also worth pointing out that there are no validated cases of people catching HIV from oral sex. There has however always been a theorised risk if the person’s mouth has some internal damage or a localised infection.