Massive drop in London HIV rates may be due to internet drugs




Gay men who defied medical advice seem to have changed the course of the HIV epidemic in the UK – for the better.

Four London sexual health clinics saw dramatic falls in new HIV infections among gay men of around 40 per cent last year, compared with 2015, new figures show.

This decline may be mostly due to thousands of people buying medicines called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which cut the chance of catching the virus, online.

“We need to be very cautious at this stage, but I can’t see what else it can be,” says Will Nutland at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who has set up PrEPster, a website that gives people information on how to give themselves PrEP. “Something extraordinary has happened in the last 12 months because of a bunch of DIY activists working off our kitchen tables.”

The medicine has been approved in the UK as a drug for preventing HIV infection in both men and women, but it isn’t yet available on the National Health Service.

“People say, ‘Why don’t gay men just use condoms?’,” says Mags Portman of the Mortimer Market Centre in London, one of the clinics that has seen large declines in diagnoses. “They do, but not all the time. Straight people don’t use condoms all the time either.”

To avoid paying £400 a month for private prescriptions of the brand-name drug Truvada, growing numbers are buying generic versions from online pharmacies in India and Swaziland for £40 a month, through a UK website called I Want PrEP Now.

International drugs

Until recently, most doctors would have advised against buying any medicines online, warning that the process could be illegal or the drugs may not be safe. While it is legal to buy up to a three-month personal supply, it can seem shady as the medicines are sent through several countries to get around custom laws.

But attitudes are changing. Some sexual health doctors now help people who source PrEP online by providing blood tests to check the pills are real and urine tests to ensure people aren’t getting kidney damage as a side effect. So far no pills have turned out to be fake.

These doctors were also reassured when the regulatory body, the General Medical Council, told them its ethical guidelines say clinicians should give patients information about treatments they cannot offer themselves, says Portman.

I like how this article’s tone is amazement/amusement that “internet drugs” are helping instead of disgust that men are having to get drugs shipped from thousands of miles away when they live right next to pharmacies because capitalism creates public health crises for profit.


This isn’t just a problem with these drugs. I have seen multiple people I know in the UK ordering drugs online out of desperation. Like one that comes to mind is apparently the anti-nausea drug I easily get filled in the US is something a friend of mine has to order online in the UK. This is a thing that blocks treatment in general.

Massive drop in London HIV rates may be due to internet drugs

Thanks for saying that! There was a trend of “positivity” posts that shit on the “you’re made of star stuff” quote cause it’s “unrealistic”. I was like FUCK YOU GUYS. You don’t have to relate to it, but do you have to shit on people who do? Sometimes it’s nice to feel like you’re something other than dirt arranged neatly around a nougaty core of depression, yeah? Even the ones that were like “ur made of iron and blood” just don’t work when you’re tired don’t wanna think about fighting at all.


That’s so weird because… that literally IS “star stuff”. People get their panties in such a bunch when you find beauty in science, even when you’re just using poetic language to describe accurate scientific information. You can quote Carl Sagan at them and they’ll pop wretchedness boners at the idea of explaining how wrong and unscientific you are because you dared to use a metaphor to describe the intricacies of being alive.

Atheists who are threatened by other atheists experiencing numinous wonder deserve a kick in the ass.

Exclusive: Here’s The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally At Google [Updated]





I feel like the word “screed” used to mean more than “text I disagree with.”

Engineer: *writes a very level-headed, well reasoned essay, even if I might not agree with all of it*

Management: *responds with zero substance*

Media: “Engineer writes zero substance creed!!!”

I get the sense that this person has not heard any feminist/social justice thinking about gender. This is weird because they speak about being saturated in it and stressed out by the impossibility of disagreeing with it – and I believe them! And nonetheless it feels like they have never heard it clearly enough articulated to disagree with. It’s like some things have filtered through, such as ‘saying men and women are different are bad’, but without any of the underlying intellectual work like ‘we acculturate men and women differently, and aggressively so, and they are more different in places that demand more difference of them’ and ‘men and women get rewarded and punished socially for different behavior’ and ‘there might, even if you stripped all that away, be actual differences on average, but the gender balance of fields swings a lot off cultural factors and the mapping from innate differences to career choices is probably very messy’.

I think there are lots of people who get some sort of conclusions section of feminist thought and none of the argumentation for it and end up filling in their own, confusing and terrible, arguments for how to reach that conclusion, and thinking feminists think something like ‘there are no differences between how men and women socialized in America act and behave’.

 Also, Googler, it might make sense to have girls’ tech education programs even if there would be a gender imbalance in tech even in a perfectly egalitarian society, because if you are right that there are differences between men and women, there might be differences in the best way to teach them to code, and the insistence against gender-specific classes goes badly with the rest of your argument.

But I do think the right way to answer this is with those counterarguments, not with ‘you’re making women uncomfortable’, because when someone is both wrong and making women uncomfortable and you only point out the second thing they’re going to decide they’re right and being silenced.

A simplified anecdote, from personal experience.

Cousin: “When colored students”
Mother: “Students of color”
Repeat three times.
Mother: “She said colored students”
Me: “Yes, but you corrected her without explaining why.”
Mother: “I shouldn’t have to.”
Me: “I know that colored students was verboten, but I didn’t understand why until I saw the disagreements about ‘autistic people’ vs ‘people with autism’.”
Mother: “I actually go even further, I say ‘people who have been diagnosed with autism.’”

Aside from my mom winning the “completely missing the point” award of the day, I don’t think it’s a particularly unusual thing. People know that some things are good and some things are bad. Your average catholic doesn’t really understand why blowjobs are acceptable but only as foreplay, and your average feminist doesn’t really understand the justifications for their conclusions either. It’s not non-believers who don’t understand the intellectual work that goes into conclusions: most believers don’t either. It’s why intellectual minorities tend to have better arguments for their conclusions.

I absolutely agree that the author’s argument would be much much stronger if they took out everything about biology and replaced it with socialization (there’s still an argument about whether they’re right, but they have a much stronger argument on a statistical level when they allow for socialization).

Exclusive: Here’s The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally At Google [Updated]