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Sex, Drugs, Rockin’ & Rollin’

Sep. 27, 2016
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Dear Ruthie,

What’s the deal with PrEP? Is this something that is going to help or hurt our community in the long run? All these fucking kids are on it, and they’re not being careful because they didn’t live through the hell that AIDS brought. So tell me—what’s the deal with PrEP? Do I need to take it?

—Looking for an Answer

Dear Lookey Lou,

I understand your concerns, confusion and need for clarity, honey. I’m no doctor so take what I’m about to say as an introduction to PrEP. If you truly want to get the ins and the outs regarding this new prescription drug, see a doctor. With that out of the way, let’s talk about sex, drugs and rockin’ and rollin’.

The drug PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Taken once per day, the pill limits HIV’s ability to reproduce itself within the human body after exposure. In other words, it helps prevent HIV infection for those not already infected by the virus. Hooray! 

Even if you’re on PrEP, most healthcare providers recommend that condoms continue to be a part of your screwin’. After all, PrEP won’t protect you from diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea and the like. It’s also key to remember that the drug only limits the reproduction of the virus. In other words, it’s not 100% effective; there is still a risk involved. Does it greatly reduce the risk? Yes. Does it eliminate it? No. Thus the problem. Lots of folks on PrEP are banging away, forgetting that a risk is still present. That’s their call. It’s up to you to make such decisions for yourself. Log onto the internet, sugar, and do a little research. Then, see a doctor to find out if PrEP is right for you. 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sept. 29: Make & Take Stencil Workshop at The Waxwing (1800 E. North Ave.): Local favorite, artist Jeremy Novy shares the secrets behind his stencil street art in this $60 class. As Novy notes, “Do you like sharp things and spray paint? Feel the need to reject societal norms and make art that everyone will see? Well here is your opportunity to learn.” All materials are included in the 5:30 p.m. workshop. Contact J_novy@hotmail.com for registration and payment information.                                                                   

Oct. 1: Wisconsin Trans & Queer People of Color Summit at UWM/University Ballroom (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.): There are workshops, caucuses and presentations galore during this 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. summit that explores the tools folks in the LGBTQ community need to succeed in the world today. Institutional barriers, coalition building and social justice are only a few of the topics attendees will discuss. Shoot an email to wtqpoc@gmail.com to learn more.

Oct. 1: AIDS Walk Wisconsin at Summerfest Grounds (200 N. Harbor Drive): It’s baaack…and it’s bringing hunky Taye Diggs with it! Join the gorgeous honorary chair, tie up your walking shoes and hit the 9:30 a.m. registration to the largest AIDS-related fundraiser in the state. The run begins at 10:30 a.m. with the walk stepping off at 12:30 p.m. See aidswalkwis.org for a complete schedule, online registration and more.

Oct. 1: From Russia with Love: An Evening with Katya at This Is It (418 E. Wells St.): One of Milwaukee’s favorite watering holes hosts a true all-star during this 10 p.m. event that promises to become legendary. Funny “gurl” Katya of RuPaul fame brings her kooky brand of femme fatale fun to Cream City, and you don’t want to miss it! Get there early to nab a good (free) seat.

Oct. 2: US Bank Brady Street Pet Parade (at Brady Street): What do Gay men love more than their pets? Dressing them up! Check out the costume, tail-wagging and pet-owner look alike contests at 12:15 p.m. The parade starts at 1 p.m. followed by a pet blessing. The fun continues with vendors, food, live music, demos and more until 5 p.m. See bradystreet.org for more.

Oct. 2: Mr. & Miss Glitter Stage Pageant at Five Nightclub (5 Applegate Court, Madison): Join diva Harmony Breeze as she crowns two more stars of tomorrow in this fun-loving salute to all things sparkly, shiny and sexy! The 9 p.m. extravaganza includes a $5 cover, so grab a few bucks and have some fun in Madison this weekend!

Oct. 4: OUTspoken! LGBTQ Storytelling at Sidetrack Video Bar (3349 N. Halsted St., Chicago): Whether you have a story to tell or simply want to sit back and enjoy the night, you’re in for a memorable evening with this presentation of stories told live on stage. The free night begins at 7 p.m., with the door opening at 6 p.m.

Want to share an event with Ruthie? Need her advice on a situation? Email dearruthie@shepex.com. Be sure to catch her on Facebook (Ruthie Kester) and Twitter (@DearRuthie).

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