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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Summer 257 > DR CHRISTIAN



Q & A

Our health expert Dr Christian Jessen answers your medical queries


Q There’s been a lot in the news recently about preventative HIV drugs such as PrEP and Truvada, but do they really prevent HIV and are they safe to use?

Harrison, London

A Firstly, the term ‘PrEP’ stands for ‘pre-exposure prophylaxis’, which is a new HIV prevention method, while Truvada is one of the PrEP drugs currently available in the US and currently undergoing trials in the UK. PrEP involves taking antiretroviral drugs in situations where you feel you may be at risk from contracting the disease. The drugs work by preventing HIV from establishing a permanent hold or infection in the body. It is highly effective but it has to be taken consistently in order for it to be effective. So far, there have been no significant safety concerns with PrEP medication. The most common side effects are an upset stomach, loss of appetite and sleep problems but these tend to resolve after a month of regularly taking. There have been concerns about drug resistance developing in people on PrEP should they become HIV positive at some stage, but new testing methods and sensible clinical advice can help avoid this happening.

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About Attitude

The new issue feature former child star turned Bates Motel psycho, Freddie Highmore – who is all grown up in our exclusive shoot and interview. We also have a feature looking at why gay men love horror movies so much. On the eve of the UK general election we look back at party voting records and ask can we really trust the Tories? And as the Irish marriage referendum approaches, we look at the country’s road to equality, and how Colin Farrell is supporting his gay brother. In other voting matters, we ask experts if the UK can ever hope to win the Eurovision again. We have interviews with pop prince Will Young, American TV guru Andy Cohen, music mogul Pete Waterman, and that absolute babe Alexandra Burke. We also give you the run down on all the best prides and festivals of the summer.