Michael Lucas is one the world’s most well known adult performers as well as an activist and filmmaker. He’s been an early advocate of PrEP and now appears in the Gilead-funded Public Health Solutions’ social marketing campaign, Time4Prep video "Prep for Love." (Watch another video in that campaign featuring porn star J.D. Phoenix here.) Lucas told us his early thoughts on PrEP.
PrEP is a revolutionary breakthrough and a game-changer. I couldn’t believe there had been a tremendously important discovery and for the first time in my life, I would not have to be afraid of contracting HIV -- a fear that my generation has always had. Shedding that fear was a liberating experience. I read about it in the New York Times and I went straight to my doctor and immediately started taking it.
I was the first HIV-negative adult performer to publicly announce he is taking PrEP because it was very controversial back then. And I remember being surprised that something so good could be portrayed so badly. But after some thought I understood why: it’s similar to the morning-after pill for women, a Plan B alternative to abortion that sparked similar moral outrage. People that are still speaking against it -- and by “people” I mean Michael Weinstein at this point -- do so because this drug undermines their organizations and their ability to make money. Let me be very blunt here: PrEP prevents HIV. Without HIV and AIDS, these foundations would be out of business.
When I came out as a negative man on the medication in my article for Out magazine, I also ripped my opponents on the issue to pieces and further shed light on the facts through my PSA and ersonally, I’ve personally gone with over 70 friends and models to the Mount Sinai Comprehensive Health Clinic on Seventh Avenue.
PrEP is such an important breakthrough because it helps eliminate the stigma surrounding people living with HIV and AIDS — a stigma that stems from fear. I've always felt as though I was discriminating against people when asking for their status. I no longer do so in my private life. I see no reason to.
Editor's Note: Revisions to Lucas's statement were made for clarification purposes added Dec. 8.