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Writer Josh Kruger Just Took His Last HIV Pill

Josh Kruger
Courtesy Josh Kruger website

New scientific advances had him rethinking treatment and activism efforts.

Philadelphia-based journalist Josh Kruger uses his HIV-positive status to help advocate and spread awareness on the topic, and has some thoughts about the new long-acting injectables for treatment against the virus.

In an op-ed for Poz, Kruger wrote about his excitement for the new Cabenuva injectable HIV treatment. He wrote that his doctor mentioned his only concern being the size of Kruger’s ass, which is an insecurity “sort of like my relationship with HIV. Its not that I ever wanted to be HIV positive. But it’s so a part of who I am now that, well, it’s complicated.”

He further discusses the daily pills he’s taken over the last 10 years with no side effects. He said getting access to his meds, even when he was unemployed and homeless, was a top priority for him. As a result, he said he’s experienced few, if any, complications.

As Kruger transitioned toward the injectable, the first matter of importance was maintaining his undetectable status. He writes that researchers have found that homeless patients were half as likely to achieve viral suppression, a topic that hit him all too close to home.

The introduction of injectables makes access to treatment for the unhoused easier, but the efficacy of the pills and injectables are more or less the same either way.

Outside of homelessness, racial inequalities also pose a problem for equity efforts, regardless of people’s preference for the injectable treatment.

Even though Kruger still had some hesitations about the injectables at first, he went from saying, “I take one pill, once per day” to saying, “I get two shots once every other month,” with “a near 100% chance of preferring it.”

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