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Photo: Trey Ratcliffe
The HIV-positive writer, blogger, and long-time marriage equality champion, Andrew Sullivan, has taken the writer and activist Larry Kramer to task over his recent remarks to The New York Times, in which Kramer claimed that anyone taking PrEP drug Truvada, had to "have rocks in their heads." Kramer was responding to a recent decision by the Centers for Disease Control to approve Truvada as a pre-exposure prophylaxis for those at risk of HIV.
On his popular website, The Dish, Sullivan challenged Kramer to think through the logic of his position, adding that had Truvada been availabe at the height of the AIDS pandemic in New York, no-one would have turned it down. "I think of how it might have saved me," he writes. "I was using condoms after all, and following the rules of safe sex. But I screwed up somewhere along the way, and Truvada would have been a safety net. Why would anyone not want to add that layer of security?" He adds that the decline in condom use is not about gay men, but about men in general. "You need not ascribe any pathology to the reluctance to wear a condom when the consequence is much less dire than it once was," he wrote. "You simply have to be a dude with a dick."
As for Kramer's contention that the LGBT community had achieved very little, Sullivan describes it as pessimism bordering on absurdity. "We now have openly gay military service. We have marriage equality in nineteen states and many countries all around the world. We may well have it nationally in as little as a year. We have landmark legal cases that are fueling gay marriage bans across the country in an unprecedented wave ... we have treatments that reduce HIV to undetectable levels in the blood, and a drug to protect you from HIV indefinitely. We have an openly gay NFL player ... And if the dead could return, they would, I hope, be amazed. AIDS did not finish us. It spurred us to an extraordinary social revolution, in which Larry played an important part."