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New PrEP Video Campaign Stars Gay Porn Star J.D. Phoenix

JD PHOENIX

“When straight guys have a lot of sex, they’re called studs,” says J.D. Phoenix in a new public service campaign by Public Health Solutions, “But when gay guys have a lot of sex, they’re called sluts.”

Titled, “I Like to Party,” Phoenix’s video is part of an initiative by HIV Big Deal called Time2PrEP, and it hints at the kind of slut shaming that has dominated much of the conversation about using PrEP. The heated verbal debate over using a pre-exposure prophylaxis gave rise to the moniker “Truvada Whore” (Truvada is currently the only FDA approved PrEP medication). Phoenix’s video, features the adult film star out at a bar, dancing shirtless, kissing another guy and at home, taking PrEP. “I like being safe,” he concludes.

HIV Big Deal was developed by Public Health Solutions to encourage and motivate gay men to make better sexual health choices around HIV. Founded in 1957, New York City’s Public Health Solutions is one of the country’s largest public health institutes with an annual budget of $230 million.

“WTF is PrEP?” is the tagline of another Time2PrEP video that the organization hopes will help educate  gets about the practice of using Truvada as preventative medication. As a recent, real-world study shows, PrEP is remarkably effective, all but eliminating the risk of HIV infection when taken as directed.  

The Time2PrEP campaign features three eye-catching videos aimed at public education. “Our goal as HIV prevention professionals is to reduce HIV infections, and to communicate to those at high risk.” Noted and Time2PrEP writer Kenny Shults.  Each video offers a different angle of thinking about PrEP, as each has been designed to appeal to a specific audience. “I Like To Party,” targets men whose sexual and recreational drug activities may put them at higher risk for contracting HIV. “Mario and Lamar” focuses on a date between two men who meet through an online dating app  and “PrEP and Love” is a short documentary about serodiscordant couples – where one partner has HIV and the other doesn’t. Not all of the couples in this video have chosen PrEP, but they have all researched and considered it.

Mary Ann Chiasson and J.D. Phoenix

Above: Mary Ann Chiasson and J.D. Phoenix

The Time2PrEP campaign is supported in part by funding from Gilead Sciences and is designed to raise awareness about PrEP while emphasizing personal choice, empowering those at risk of getting HIV to take control of their own sexual health.

In a press release, Public Health Solutions acknowledged that PrEP has its detractors, who note that it does’t prevent other STDs and worry that having access to PrEP could lead some men to discard condom-use and engage in high-risk behavior. The service organization said it “believes that all people should be able to make decisions about their personal health with as much information about their options and risks as possible.”

Time2PrEP is the latest in a series of HIVBigDeal videos. Past campaigns have emphasized HIV testing and prevention, honest conversations around HIV status with potential partners.

“While our work has had an impact, there remains an urgent need for new, cutting edge approaches to prevention,” noted Mary Ann Chiasson, Public Health Solutions’ Vice President of Research & Evaluation, in a written statement. “Despite important advances in treatment, the number of new HIV infections in men who have sex with men has increased every year since we started the HIVBigDeal campaign in 2005, now accounting for 63 percent of all new infections. We must continue to spread the message of harm reduction and HIV prevention to those who need it most.”

Watch the video here.

 

Read more about the campaign as well as interviews with Kenny Shults, Mary Ann Chiasson, and Michael Lucas

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