Editor's Note: There are, unfortunately, many myths going around about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP — the use of an antiretroviral drug by HIV-negative people to prevent them from being infected with HIV during sex. This month we’ll look at one myth per day and offer evidence why it’s not true.
Myth: PrEP is primarily or exclusively for gay and bisexual men.
Truth: PrEP is for anyone who may be at high risk of HIV infection. While the infection rates are highest among men who have sex with men, female sex workers are 14 times more likely to get HIV than other females and transgender women are 50 times more likely than the general adult population, according to the World Health Organization. “None of these people live in isolation,” says Gottfried Hirnschall, director of the HIV department at WHO. “Sex workers and their clients have husbands, wives and partners. Some inject drugs. Many have children. Failure to provide services to the people who are at greatest risk of HIV jeopardizes further progress against the global epidemic and threatens the health and well-being of individuals, their families, and the broader community.”