March 5, 2021
What You Don’t Know About HIV
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Thanks to medical research and breakthroughs, we now have the tools to end the HIV epidemic. Unfortunately, we’re still a long way off on account of stigma, misinformation and a lack of awareness with regard to prevention options. So it’s essential that we talk about it.
Brad McElya, joins us to take a deeper dive into the topic of HIV and answers your questions including:
- How have approaches to HIV shifted since the 80s?
- Is HIV transmission possible if you have an undetectable viral load?
- What is PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and how does it work to prevent transmission?
- Who should consider PrEP?
- Why is HIV still an epidemic when we have the tools to eradicate it?
- How do we chip away at the stigma that hinders testing, prevention and treatment?
- How can we normalize conversations about HIV and how can your local pharmacist help?
We also discuss the new ArcWave Ion and Brandon provides a very personal and detailed review of his first time using this stroker + pleasure-air technology. You don’t want to miss it!
Brad is Walgreens’ Director of Specialty Health Solutions. Walgreens pharmacists receive specialized training in confidential and compassionate HIV care. Learn more at Walgreens.com/prep or visit your local Walgreens and request a consult in a private room. And you can chat online 24/7 with a pharmacist here.
Please see here for a rough version of this transcript.
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This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.
What You Dont Know About HIV
00:00:05 – 00:05:11
You’re listening to the sacs with dr jess podcast sacks and relationship advice you can use tonight Welcome to the sex with dr. Just podcast i’m your co host brandon. Wear here with my lovely other. Half dr jess how are you. I’m good. i’m so happy to have you back. Because i was on on my own last week and i promised everyone that brand would be back. And that i’d hand you the reins to talk about touching yourself. Well i’m glad and i was also wondering. Where was i last week when i was busy with work and i am sorry that i missed it. I love these podcasts. I love learning and listening and asking questions. I know i know well today. I’m going to be handing you the reins To talk about your with the arc wave but we’re also going to be talking about the hiv epidemic and how it can be a radical added. We have the tools to eradicate it. And i was thinking about. You know when we look back to the eighties there was so much fear around hiv aids and so much misinformation. That was fueled by but also reinforcing of you know homophobia and racism and hiv. I remember when i studied social movements in school Hiv was such an important piece of you know so many social uprisings at the time and we had groups like aids action now and i remember studying it and then now it seems as though it’s just kind of taken a backseat in part. Because the fear isn’t as strong which is a good thing. We now know that you know an hiv diagnosis is not a death sentence which we saw it as back. Then we knew. And we know that you can live a long healthy high-quality life being hiv positive. Especially if you have access to resources like medications and we know that quality of life is really now the focus of hiv care but we also know that like all medical care. It’s very stratified by privilege or lack thereof which means that the health outcomes really vary according to so many factors whether it’s your income your race. Your location The stigma that kinda tent intensifies along the margins of identity. And so we’re going to be talking about this as well talking about updates to the research testing talking about huge updates in treatment and prevention. And we’re gonna do this in in detail with brad macauley. Who is the director of specialty health solutions at walgreens and a pharmacist as well it was so interesting to hear you talk about how it has been seen as as a death sentence and i remember being a teenager and that was obviously one of the big fears was testing positive for hiv. And the only thing that i knew of was you wore a condom. That was what you what you did. And if you did if you did test positive That was obviously. It was devastating. But i remember magic. Johnson and i remember magic johnson. Haven’t really. I don’t know what the word is but progressing through the symptoms getting treatment and living a really high quality life and now with the prep program and your partnership with walgreens. It seems like it’s accessible to so many more whereas before i just associated with Only the most affluent individuals so really interesting to see how it’s changed absolutely now. We can’t deny that the more money you have The better medical treatment agree you receive depending on where you live but overall health outcomes are higher for people in certain groups. But i think this is going to be a really interesting discussion. But before we get to that i did promise. The you’d hear from brandon and his review of a new toy the arc waves so this is a pretty revolutionary sex toy. It is a pleasure air toy for the peanuts. So it uses tiny changes in air pressure to target the sensitive nerve endings. And what would it. Promises is a more powerful orgasm and so this type of stimulation that they use those little changes air pressure apparently allows you to target receptors. That other technology cannot so like vibrator isn’t going to get it in the same way and so these are cold apparently pecinin pleasure receptors. Which i’m just starting to learn about. So they’re highly sensitive nerve endings that are located kind of in the fragile at the tip of the penis and they respond really well to changes in air pressure. Scientific you make everything. Because i’m like it took my penis and made it feel real good. Well it’s it’s interesting. Because i can’t use this toy. ’cause i don’t have a penis but the clitoris and the peanuts have so much in common. You know i’ve spoken many times about the fact that they are derived from the same tissue in utero they both have a shaft a head foreskin corporate cover osa which is that cavernous area that fills with blood to get an erection.
00:05:11 – 00:10:01
They both have spongy tissue. They both get boehner’s but clitoral boehner’s are mostly on the inside so they may not be as visible. So argh we’ve basically set out to use this pleasure. Air technology that targets the palestinian receptors and a really highly concentrated in the torres to also target the same receptors in the penis to create more intense orgasms. I would describe the arc wave ion as a stroke or plus. So it’s like okay. This is how i’m going to describe it. It’s a small tunnel will not that small. It’s a tunnel and inside. It’s made of this clean tech silicone. That is kind of ridged and you slide your penis inside you turn it on and you can either kind of stay still against that pleasure air or you can stroke. But you know what i promised. I’d let you talk. So i mean listen everything you’ve said i agree with. I really noticed. Initially the the case thought it looked really nice and sleek and modern and very discreet. So if you’re worried about having something out you don’t need to worry about it with this. You said it looked like a speaker thought it was a speaker almost. It looks like a bose speaker or something like that. That would just be charging the side of your night table which is kinda cool The thing that struck me initially was in that tunnel that you described the it’s ridged so in initially. I thought it actually felt if it felt like the inside wall of vagina which i’m sure it was meant to to to replicate but that was really really cool and then of course you’ve got this pleasure air technology location within that tunnel so you start by should always preface like you say use lube right and when i was using it at first i thought how do i do. I just put my penis in here. And do i stroke. Do i just let it sit in there on the pleasure air location but After a little bit of playing around. And let’s be honest. You can’t really go wrong. You’re you’re pleasing yourself so once you start stroking and you let that pleasure air device actually target the french ellum. It feels great and what was most surprising to me. Was when i actually climaxed because i was using it as a stroke or i had the pleasure air dispenser opening. I guess yeah opening at the base of my penis. So when i orgasm it was so much more intense because it was actually pulsing. It felt like a pulsing at the base. Which was really really good. Is that super descriptive for you. So i want to just go back so you is. I guess a tunnel. You put your penis in it. And then kind of at the near the top of the tunnel on the underside. There’s an extra kind of opening where those changes in pressure occur. Is that a fair wage growth and so the front neelam of your penis. Which is the small connective tissue. That connects the foreskin to the penis is on that underside. Basically where the head meets the shaft. So it’s it’s intended to kind of be on the free land beyond the head but you’re saying you actually shoved. Ups rang through. I mean when. I first started using it. I didn’t know i was like okay. This is a stroke or so puts them lube on. It turned it on and started playing around with the settings at first which was really cool because they have so many different settings it can be low to very very high depending on the intensity that you want how intense you use it I i started the lowest work my way up to the highest and then i actually found for me. It was just below The or just above rather the lowest setting. Because i found it to be enough that it provided that extra sensation and pleasure but also was thinking that as i was using it you could you could bring yourself close to climax and then slowly kinda pull away from that pleasure air piece which was just really interesting so you know the more you use it. The more i use it the more comfortable you get with Perhaps increasing your pleasure. But i gotta tell you it was fun to play with. I thought at first it might be a little bit cumbersome just because if you’re normally masturbating you’re just using your hand but you have a device in your hand that’s using using as a stroke so Again it’s a win win. You’re using something. That’s adding another element of pleasure that is going to be really really difficult to replicate like with any other flesh late. It’s going to be hard to replicate that that sucking motion or that sucking sensation. Which is what that piece is meant to do. It kind of felt like second to you know for me.
00:10:01 – 00:15:04
I know that it’s supposed to feel exciting but again felt those evidence. They feel more of a pulsing sensation than they did. In the pulsing was was nice and very different from vibration. That you’d feel on like a ring or anything else that you might or that i’ve used in the past. Yes so you tend to if you do use a toy. Use that vibrating. Ring the pivot. So how is this different while the pivot literally pivots around on the base of your penis right so if you leave it in its in the position where the The vibrating portion is over. Your balls. it’s going to give you that stimulation. More so for the person with the penis If you rotate it up you continue. I would continue to benefit from those pulsing that vibrating sensation. But it pushes on your partner and gives them an added level of stimulus so the difference was really just kind of where i felt. The vibrations in more of a of a can wear traditional. It’s hard to describe the pulsing feels like in the arc wave. But i would say that the pivot is more of that traditional vibration whereas this really has A pulsing sucking feel so. Does the orgasm feel different. As i was saying when i orgasm d- i just so happened to have had pushed the stroke or all the way down so that can how. Because i’m looking at it. You mr really jammed it in your as a stroke or and the that pleasure earpieces meant to be up near the top of your penis right so you could just put it there and let it sit there and then orgasm and that would feel great but because i was using it and i just got carried away i had it at the base or further down. I guess yeah i mean. They didn’t have the base. But had it further down my penis in like that gave me a very unexpected surprise. That was just like. I don’t know how to describe the feeling just because i was orga having an orgasm but it was like in addition to the normal fantastic feeling of having an orgasm. You’re also having this pulsing sensation that was happening halfway down your penis so it was very very different. Imagine having an orgasm somebody sucking or playing with halfway down your penis different. It’s not something that i think. Most people think when. I when i when i have an orgasm on to pleasure this part of my peanut for me. It was just like a total accident and it was a wonderful accident. Okay so i have a question. Do you feel as though you could leave it. Perfectly still and have an orgasm from the guess stimulation of those receptors on the underside europeans. Or would you always want to move the reason i’m wallet answer. I and i’ll tell you. Why masking i mean. I like the idea of using it as a stroke. I’m open to definitely try seeing if that works to just letting it sit there but i would continue to use it as a stroke. I’m wondering about a couple of different here so for people for example who want to last longer when learn to exercise more control verge accusation definitely. I could see you Putting pleasure air on your friend for neelam building up like feeling that okay. I coming on and then stroking so that that pleasure air is not on the most sensitive part or for me the most sensitive part of my penis so you move it away and then you learn the control right you learn that sensation that you feel like you’re going to hit the point of no return and then you move it back onto the french elim again. And so with that practice. I could see how your you know edging or really working towards controlling your ejaculation. Yeah definitely all right so you’re not super experienced with it yet so you need to try it again and maybe report back. It’s really unfortunate. I’m just going to have to keep you know experimenting with this can ask a question just because i’m personally curious. How long did it take. Timing yourself. Quicker or slower. This time was really representative of how long it might take. It is probably four or five minutes. But because i was which is a long time but i was. I was playing around with it like i think. Under normal circumstances. I am a creature of like not convenience or habit. But it’s like okay. Let’s say you’re away and traveling. And i want to get off. I’m just gonna get off quickly. I don’t find. I enjoy the build up so with this though i took more time just to play around with it and figure what didn’t alexa. Let’s call it five minutes but i’m sure i can get my time down time easily easily and so we would we use it because we haven’t yet we could definitely use it together. I mean it could be a part of foreplay could be a part of. I’m just trying to think. I mean it doesn’t even have to before could be six in itself.
00:15:04 – 00:20:06
I could see. Yes you could definitely. Do you want me to manipulate it on you. Of course i mean also you can have fun and play with it right. You could do the same thing like that. You’re staring down the tunnel of fully putting it up to my staring down. Also play around with your partner where they’re bringing you bringing you closer to orgasm and then taking it away. I mean they’re stroking it on different parts of your penis and seeing what you do and don’t like you that you like that edging like even i noticed having sex you even though we don’t necessarily call it that you like getting up and then pulling back i do and i mean i’ve been doing it for a long time without really recognizing what i was doing where you get to a point. You’re just like okay. Let’s just take a minute to breathe for ten or twenty seconds and then get back at it. And i know that there have been days when you’re like okay enough already. Let’s just be done here. We ever said that. No from your buddy. I’m done. I was done a long time ago. Ak- so it was definitely very pleasurable. Look forward to doing more research. Any other companies would like to provide me with toys. I’m happy to do market research for you. Okay well yeah send it to him. Because i have a lot. I got a lot to deal with. My mailbox is full of thanks pave. Thanks for sharing your experience. You feel okay. Who sweaty just a little nervous. Next time we can try it together and can see how. I would use it so how i can mess it up. Well i just want to say one thing that even though that opening that’s intended for the frenzy lem is intended for like just around the head. You’re using it a lot deeper than that because the top of it allows you to kind of push in. Because it’s nice and soft so i was just thinking that there must be so many other uses that we can play with rather than what do they call it off. Label uses didn’t even just spinning the device around with enough lube. You could use that. That pleasure arab peace you could rotate around different parts of the penis so anyway yeah lots. You could do lots lots of fun. You can have with it so just to clarify we’re talking about the arc wave ion their first toy that has come out and it. It’s really interesting the way they’ve done this and the way they’ve done the research around it so i’m excited i mean i don’t get really try. Try it but i’m excited to learn more and be a part of the process. Thanks babe literally take pleasure and just a reminder if you are interested in the arc wave ion it is of course available online at arc wave dot com it is a r c so arc wave dot com and you can save with code. Dr jess d. r. j. e. s. s. Save a few dollars and also let them know that you heard about the arc. Arc wave i on here from mr brennan. Wear them that you heard. Brennan’s ten minute description and that it was great. Yeah post that in the promo code people. All right. Doctor jess use the code. All right moving on we are going to be talking about our main topic today and that is hiv aids in terms of updates testing treatment prevention and more with pharmacist brad director of specialty health solutions at walgreens. Welcome and thanks so much for joining us today brad. How how are you managing as a pharmacist during this global pandemic so i and hopefully hopefully only of our lifetime you so much. i mean. I’m actually doing pretty well. It’s been very interesting time for all of us but as a pharmacist myself it’s really been an opportunity for us to in seeing the focus on how we can take care of patients especially when it comes to hiv epidemic in the middle of pandemic. And so it’s really allowed us to be creative. And make sure that we really keep patients at the forefront of everything that we’re doing as pharmacists now in your current role you oversee walgreens. Hiv treatment and prevention efforts. And you’re involved in the trainings that walgreens pharmacy teams undergo in order to provide the compassionate and confidential. Care that you offer at this of course involves a huge range of cultural competencies and dealing with de stigmatization. But i’d like to start from the beginning for folks. I think many of us can use a refresher. I have to say that. Many people in my field actually started in the field of hiv and hiv education and prevention. I did and when. I announced this partnership with walgreens so many people came out and said oh yeah i actually started with an aids service organization so but for many of us. It has been years since we’ve worked directly with aids service organization. So i’d love to get a refresher and just start right from the beginning if you can talk to us a little bit about what.
00:20:06 – 00:25:05
Hiv is and what aides is. It’s quite interesting. It’s been a an epidemic at the united states at least has been fighting for about the past forty years though. Hiv itself is human immunodeficiency virus. So it’s a virus that attacks the immune system and really tries to that virus tries to replicate and in doing that than it can essentially destroy the immune system while in advanced cases that’s when hiv progresses to aids if in fact it’s left untreated. And so you know really over the past forty years. We’ve we’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned that. It is something that we can actually end. We can end the ischemic. Various different prevention measures whether it’s prep or treatment as prevention. But it’s been an interesting journey one that we’ve made a lot of progress on however it’s also a journey that we still have a long ways to go so really making sure that any individual that is currently living with hiv can potentially know their status and then get into treatment and then also individuals that may be at risk for acquiring hiv. That they actually have a way to protect themselves as well on protect their immune system. So when we’re talking about hov and e suk-lee it’s really a matter of the immune systems and making sure that we can protect them as best as possible so then we can fight off all kinds of other infection now when we differentiate between hiv and aids. What is the likelihood. I don’t know if we have this data that a person living with hiv will be diagnosed with aids in the united states. That can be a complex question because part of it’s going to be a matter of winning individual actually gets into treatment and the reason. I say that it’s complex is because if an individual is on. hiv treatments pagent living with hiv. That’s actually on antiretroviral therapy than that. Patients may actually never progress into aids. things that we’ve seen recently through various different campaigns you equals you are treatment as prevention is one of those. Is that a patient living with hiv. That has their viral load. Suppressed through antiretroviral therapy. Then that patients will have a will not be able to transmit hiv to another individual and their viral load also suppressed so much so that the virus is not replicating within their their immune system any longer therefore they won’t progress to aids now if an individual is not into treatment then you will have more likely to progress into aids but again complex nature of that. Question’s really around whether or not a patient is on treatment or in treatment and then how that can actually protect that individual. I guess we have to talk about some of the factors that support people in getting on treatment right and this would be related to access to income to you know even just access to information and so when you talk about treatment as prevention. I’d like to chat about that. Because ten years ago when i was working with aids service organizations that was relatively new language. And so can you explain what that means getting the viral load so low that it’s not transmittable. Is that a zero viral load. Is that an undetectable viral load. What does that look like. So the viral load meaning the level of virus. I presume it’s at in. Is it in serum is it in. How are you testing it. It is a very good question. When i was talking about a lot of progresses made. That’s been one of the areas that there has been a lot of progress so one of the things that we know now. Is that if a patient is on antiretroviral therapy their viral load is suppressed. It doesn’t have to be at zero. however as it is suppressed that sarum viral load. If it is suppressed enough then that will essentially be. Undetectable on a lab lab exam and so patients that are living with hiv. You’re going to go through routine lab tests to make sure that that viral load is suppressed and infants suppressed enough Then that patient will not be able to trans hiv to another individual and this is really been groundbreaking in terms of legal you’re untranslatable are. Undetectable equals transplantable. Because we also see the way that this can actually play into ending. Hiv epidemic treatment as prevention so. We suppress that viral load that individual cannot transmit hiv to another individual air four.
00:25:05 – 00:30:08
You’re not going to have additional individuals that are going in fact it with hiv. Brad i have a question. You is it possible for a person to move back and forth between having hiv and having aids can you can can the virus progress back and forth between those two states if you will. It’s not really a matter of the virus Progressing it’s really a matter of that individual’s cd four count and so would probably be a question four an infectious disease physician. However i will tell you that when it comes to hiv trip progressing to aids. It’s really a matter of that individual’s cd four counts. But i think that that’s probably more of a question for infectious disease physician when it comes to that but most often it’s it’s really centered around that. Cd or patient care enough fair enough. So you’re talking about treatment as prevention so if i am hiv positive. I can be on meds that can get my viral load so detectable that i’m not going to transmit it to somebody else. But there’s the flip side of that if my partner is hiv negative. We also have new options. That certainly weren’t around when i first started working in this field. They were just really in in research stages and one of those is prep so pre exposure prophylaxis and folks have heard me talk about this on the podcast in the past. So this is and you brad. Correct any misinformation. This is a daily pill that i would take as somebody who has hiv negative to reduce the risk of having the virus transmitted to me. And when i looked into the research it says it’s over ninety nine percent effective to reduce the risk of transmission. in sexual activity. I think the efficacy is a bit lower for shared needles and other other practices that can potentially transmit hiv But i’m really curious about how prep works in the body. So how does the medication work to reduce transmission to me great question and you are exactly correct really when we’re talking about hiv prevention. We have multiple tools at our disposal now so as we were just talking about treatment as prevention that is one way that we can actually help in the epidemic but in addition to that we have exposure prophylaxis. Currently there’s basically two different medications that can be used Fool or pre exposure prophylaxis. It is recommended that patients take this medication on a daily basis. In really the reason for that is to ensure that there’s enough drug in the body that prevents hiv from replicating and so as we discussed earlier. Hiv is trying to take up or get taken up into the immune system into some of the cells of incest specifically that the defense mechanism of our body in one of the things that pre exposure prophylaxis is going to do. It’s really going to prevent that virus from continuing to replicate in a in a healthy individual and then if it cannot replicate that it can. It cannot in fact additional a cells or it can basically take up in our make Make a home within the immune system of the body and so just quite plainly if you think of other medications that we take from a preventive standpoint malaria for instance if an individual’s go into an area that may be. I have a high incidence of malaria than you can take medications to prevent you from contracting malaria. We’ll same thing with hiv if we take that. Have that medication. In our system and continuing to take it on a daily basis and really can provide that protection for that individual in the of that that they may be exposed to hiv. And so i’ve a question about sarah discordant partner so where one partner is positive and the other partner is negative. Do you see partners. Where the monogamous. Okay just to make it clear. So if i’m positive and brennan’s negative and i am taking anti retrovirals to get my viral load super super low and undetectable. Would he also consider what brandon my sexual partner also consider taking prep as a precautionary measure to people. I wanna use the double up. But that’s my lay persons term. Yeah i think it’s a great question. And one that i think couples should have discussions with their physicians and around that the reason for that is that you are exactly correct if an individual is on into retroviral therapy as we discussed and that patients viral load is so suppressed and they won’t be able to transmit hiv to their partner.
00:30:08 – 00:35:15
One of the things that we have to ensure of is that. There’s going to be proper to those medication. So if a patient is adherent to their medication and their viral loaded some press than essentially. There’s zero risk of that individual transmitting. Hiv another individual however. We do have to make sure that. That patient is adherence to their medication in that their viral load is suppressed in order to provide that protection treatment as that makes sense so prep is fairly accessible from what i’ve been reading. It’s by medicaid by medicare by a program called ready set. Prep and i know that you and your pharmacist at walgreens can help connect people to these programs like ready set. Prep that make sure that it is no cost and financially accessible. But what i’ve been reading is that people aren’t very aware of these options. So in your practice. What are you seeing in terms of what holds people back from accessing happen. Hiv care more. Generally we’ve made a lot of progress in the last forty years but we still have some significant work to do. I think the biggest thing that we need to do right now is we need to ensure that everyone that is potentially at risk of acquiring hiv. Actually it’s tested for hiv so hiv testing is very very important and the reason for that is because the hiv testing itself will allow an individual to know their hiv status in knowing your status. That actually is very powerful because it allows you to take steps one if you are infected with hiv. And you don’t know it then it allows you to potentially be able to get into our therapy. We do know that one in seven individual so approximately fourteen percents of the individuals living with hiv. Today do not know that there are actually infected with hiv. and again. if they don’t know that they do not actually get into therapy. Andrew retroviral there. In addition to that if an individual does not know their status than they wouldn’t be able to get on preventative medications like rap and the reason for that is because we have to know that an individual actually has a non reactive where negative hiv test in order to be able to prescribe rap. That’s because prep itself is not a complete Retroviral therapy for a patient. So we really need know that patience. Hiv status in order to be able to determine what preventative methods. They can take when it comes to protecting themselves. And so i really believe that. Hiv testing and get getting the word out about hiv. Testing is so critically important. Why walgreens we’ve had such a focus on on especially in our partnership with kaiser family foundation greater than aids every year trying to do what we can to increase access to nasty to Hiv testing on national hiv s. Today the partnership that we’ve been apart for the past eleven years and one that really think that it’s a great way to increase education around the orton’s of hiv test knowing that again at in knowing your hiv status allows you to have the power to take action essentially protect yourself or to get yourself in treatment and of course. People don’t have to wait until june for national hiv testing day. Certainly you know as you underscore that alarming number one in seven who are unaware of our status. It’s really a reminder to go and get tested and so that’s the very first step and if you are once you get tested Or if you already do know your status. Because i know a lot of listeners. Very responsible about sti testing When and who should consider prep now. I know that folks can walk into any walgreens pharmacy and asked to speak privately to a pharmacist. I know you offer private rooms for that. I know that of course people have been hearing me say that they can go to walgreens dot com slash p. r. e. p. to learn more. But let’s talk about that now. Who who and. when shall we consider. Prep i think that if individuals are having sex with multiple partners than that’s potentially a risk factor now the guidelines itself say that that would be eligible for prep needs to have substance substantial risk. Now that can be quite challenging. Because you know how do you define substantial and so Really i think that it’s a question for a provider to at least consider and that individuals should should consider if they are eligible for crap whether or not in to be based upon their relationship status hiv status of their potential partner.
00:35:15 – 00:40:03
You know again. You would want to know what is the status of your partner and order to be able to know if you’re at risk or not and so there are a lot of unknowns out there because there’s a lot of individuals for instance that statistic that we just talked about one in seven on actually very status so you need to have some of those bearing wolves taking care of and i do believe that health healthcare professionals can help you to arrive at a conclusion to know. If you should actually consider crap were not but there are multiple different categories of individuals individuals. Pre- potentially that used injectable drugs. Then that would be another individual should consider pre exposure prophylaxis as well and there’s so many layers to what you’re talking about so for example knowing your partner status will how do you know. Can you trust you even know who your partner is going to be tonight right. I know you know during the pandemic and most places people aren’t going out necessarily you know meeting at a bar but oftentimes we don’t know our partners last name or even their real names let alone. Hiv status so. I think this is a really important conversation. And as you talk about treatment as prevention so antiretrovirals that can get your viral load down to undetectable or untranslatable and you talk about prep so pre exposure prophylaxis appeal. You can take to reduce your risk of getting hiv by ninety nine percent sexual activity. You’re making me. Think that. And i mean it’s not like i’ve come up with this. I’ve been reading about this. That these options mean that. We have the potential to eliminate this hiv epidemic. The other epidemic that we’re facing right now so i’m sure there’s a lot of history to this. I’m sure there are many layers. I’m sure it is rooted in you. Know systemic oppression and a lack of options or lack of access for many people but why is hiv still an epidemic if we have the tools to eradicate it. It’s a great question and it’s a question that i think about quite frequently to be honest with you. I think that we are at a time where we really need to get the word out about inning hiv epidemic. It’s not too often that we have a chance within our lifetime to end an epidemic and right now during the during a pandemic. It’s very important for us in the not lose sight of the epidemic so if we can get the word out about hiv testing if we can increase the amount of individuals that are aware of their hiv status and then make sure that we are doing the awareness that we need to the advocacy. For patience. you’d be able to access both inter retrovirals as well as pre exposure prophylaxis and we will be able to actually end this issue. And i believe that we awa- greens are great position. Seventy eight percent of the americans of americans live within five miles of a walgreens pharmacy. And i believe that we have a great opportunity right now. Really get the word out that in the event that people have questions about is prep rights for me. Or what do i do about each testing. Or where can i get my medications. How can i afford my medications very specials questions like that that they should go into a walgreens pharmacy or pick up the phone or even address. Those questions do our pharmacy chat. Because the important thing is is that individuals that believed that they may be at risk. They should at least inquire about that they should consider hiv testing that should consider pre exposure prophylaxis and the various ways that they can protect themselves one of the things that i think that the pandemic has taught us is that we all play a role in that we all have an opportunity to protect us and protect the communities that we live in. Whether it’s through wearing face masks various others the same applies to hiv. We all complain apart whether it’s an educating whether it’s getting hiv test or asking questions about is bright for me. i believe that we all play a role. And if we all do that we can all help to end the hiv. Emma and i do believe very very hopeful that we can actually see this epidemic. Come to an end during our lifetimes. What you’re really doing is normalizing and encouraging these types of conversations You know here obviously but also in pharmacy. I don’t think people naturally think of you know going to a pharmacist. I i think oftentimes we think of going to a doctor and there can be barriers of course to going to a doctor whether it’s a matter of time or coverage I’m very interested however in the chat feature online.
00:40:03 – 00:45:04
So i do not like talking on the phone It really stresses me out to make a phone call. I think a lot of people. I don’t know if it’s true that a lot of younger people but many of us have anxiety even around phone calls although i’ve never really labeled it that How does the pharmacy chat work. Is it real time. Is it like is it. All the time How can we access that if we wanna chat because for me if i can chat with my fingers and not my mouth. I’m gonna do that. Sure yes it is. It is a resource that we have at walgreens. It’s available twenty four seven. The great parted about that. Is you know you never know when you’re going to have a question. You may be two o’clock in the morning. One ask a question and the resources available so it is real time we do have pharmacists. They’re able to answer questions. It is private. it’s confidential it’s secure and it it does remain anonymous and so if individuals have questions about what tell me about ready set prop or tell me about pre exposure prophylaxis than it does actually provide that platform for individuals to be able to ask their questions without having to pick up the phone because the phone they may have to wait on weight on the phone or someone may not be available. Twenty four seven but our our opportunities do exist for that pharmacy chat twenty four seven through our walgreens dot com platform. You know brad. I just want to highlight. That just really wanted to drive home. The point that she enjoys texting and she’s much younger than me. Because i want to make a phone call. Maybe it’s because my texts new skills are point. But should i think i see her laughing at me and smiling and she’s like yeah because i’m so much younger than the chaffee speech or something that she would definitely use. I also really appreciate that late night option. Because i find that for many of us. These days are anxiety is kind of coming to a head at night like during the day. We’re busy we’re working. We’re doing all the things we’re getting our exercise but at night i’ve been feeling a little bit more anxious. Last night was for example. Where i had a little bit of trouble. Sleeping wasn’t a huge deal eventually fell asleep and still got a good night’s sleep or a decent night’s sleep but you know that sometimes it can be really tough in the eight to four for people. First of all who worked different hours and for folks with anxiety are completely agree and having been a pharmacist for quite some time. now i’ve been with walgreens for twenty one years my my entire professional career with walgreen. One of the things that i do appreciate is the needs of our patients and so having lived that for quite some time really taking it upon myself and take great pride in the fact of what our patients lead from us that requires us listening and then producing resources. That can actually help them. And so it’s one of the things that i’ve done over. The course of my career is really trying to figure out what exactly patients need so asking questions and also trying to meet the needs exactly where patients are so. You’re exactly right when it comes to pharmacy trout. We have to make sure that an option is available to patients. At all hours of the day used to be used to work overnight pharmacists and would work would work in the in the early morning hours. Many patients would call me at the at those times. Have various questions of the same thing that the pharmacy got reason why we need to that option available because you never know when a patient may have questions. You don’t wanna wait around and fill the open. Be able to address the questions or concerns that any absolutely. Thank you so much for for the work. You’re doing for sharing your insights highly encourage people to head over to walgreens dot com slash crap. That’s walgreens dot com slash p. r. e. p. to learn more and to consider you know getting tested right away if you’re not aware of your status and if you are aware of your status to consider your options and use the tools at your disposal and do connect with your pharmacist again. You can walk into any walgreens or you can chat online to ask them what your options are especially for no cost low cost options because obviously these things need to be accessible to all and I appreciate brad that you’re giving us hope that we can be a part of eliminating eliminating unnecessary in lifetime. So thank you so much for your time today. Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate the opportunity just to be able to share about the work that we were able to do and really think that it is an opportunity for all of us to come together for all of us to play a part in helping to end the hiv evident. So thank you again so much for your for your time and appreciate the opportunity. Thank you you know brandon when we when we think about de stigmatizing around hiv aids around safer sex around sexual health testing a a really.
00:45:04 – 00:47:57
I feel like we’re on the precipice here in twenty twenty one because we are now having released specific conversations about safety in light of kovin in the pandemic right. We’re now talking about where you’re going to meet where you’re comfortable meeting. How much distance do you need. Will you be wearing masks. Will you be indoors or outdoors. And i think that these conversations of sick regarding safety that were approaching with so much i think sensitivity and openness and nuance and specificity if we can both of those things at once. I’m really hoping that that translates into conversations around safer sex right if we can talk about wearing masks can we talk about barrier options like condoms. If we can talk about you know how far we want to sit apart or whether we want to be sitting outdoors or indoors. Can we also talk about what our boundaries are with regard to save for sex whether that’s physical or emotional so i’m really hopeful that some of these more open conversations from cova overflow into the sexual health ram brown. Yeah i mean it was. It was enlightening. I mean there’s a lot of information that brad provided today and that you’ve provided me over the years about hiv aids education and information that w- that we can really control and even end. This is massive. And i reflect back on when i was younger. You know the ability to go into a pharmacy and to have a conversation with somebody and get the information to protect yourself for to protect myself is incredible like i just remember being such. There’s so much stigma associated with it and all of these have been broken down over the years and with this. It just seems like such a huge leap forward. Yeah absolutely. I really think faction again my early days of working in this field and how much things have changed. So i’m really appreciative. To have had this update hope people will absolutely get tested and share this information. I was chatting with someone the other day who attend sex parties regularly and obviously hasn’t been for a while now but they were they. They saw my instagram story about and so they sent some questions and yes. So it’s you know. It’s i’m really happy to hear that it’s more accessible and i hope people will take advantage of accessible testing and confidential care and treatment and medication counseling so renew. Wrap that app today. Thanks so much for chatting with me babe. Happy back so happy to have you back. Don’t be away again promise. Never actually away from me. That must’ve been the forty five minute break from one another. Thanks for listening folks wherever you’re at have a great one. You’re listening to the sex with dr jazz podcast. Improve your sex life improve your life.