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CHECK Berlin #1

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EN Treating STD on your

EN Treating STD on your own Long before Corona, a new trend in STI prevention has developed among gay men. Before or after sexual risk contacts, many use antibiotics to prevent syphilis and the like. But how effective is this method? With the growing acceptance of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) against HIV, more and more men are now taking medication to protect themselves from other sexually transmitted diseases (STD). They either do this before a foreseeable sexual risk contact in the form of an STI-PrEP. Or after such contact as STI-PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). So before or after a sex date, without knowing whether an infection will actually arise. Most of the time, the treatment is done on your own and not under medical supervision. The medications needed are often leftovers from previous treatments or were bought online. This precautionary use of antibiotics against STIs has sparked curiosity and controversy among doctors and researchers alike and is being discussed within the medical community. STI-PrEP Is Not Recommended In the meantime, a number of clinical studies have been started on the effectiveness of this type of treatment. Three diseases are being examined, in which the infections have increased in the western world in recent years: syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydial infections. Research is primarily focused on the use of the antibiotic doxycycline, also called doxy. It works against syphilis and chlamydia infections, but according to current knowledge, there is hardly any effect with regard to gonorrhea. So far there is no official recommendation to use either the STI-PrEP or STI-PEP. More so, leading researchers in this field are currently advising against this due to a lack of data. Antibiotics Aren‘t Risk-Free Antibiotic medication is scarce. Research and production of new antibiotics can’t catch up with the demand and they are becoming even more scarce due to global rise in antimicrobial resistance. The World Health Organization therefore calls for a more conservative approach and judiciously prescribing antibiotics. Frequently using antibiotics also damages your health. Additionally residues that end up in wastewater are a burden on our 26 CHECK | AUSGABE 1

EN planet‘s ecosystems. The PrEP against HIV has proven to be effective. But it doesn‘t mean that the STI-PrEP or STI-PEP also work. Antibiotics kill unwanted bacteria and microorganisms in the body. Unfortunately, they also destroy a large part of the beneficial bacteria in the intestine. So if you use STI- PrEP or STI-PEP, you should take care to strengthen the damaged intestinal flora again with probiotic foods or food supplements. It doesn‘t help anyone to not have any sexually transmitted diseases for years if the digestive system fails afterwards. In addition, there is always the risk of developing resistance, which can lead to the antibiotic no longer working at some point. As with the PrEP against HIV, the same rules apply here: Treatment should always be discussed with a specialist. (ts) Quelle: HIV Report, STI-Prophylaxe DAH 1/2020 How do I get the PrEP against HIV? In Germany, statutory health insurance companies cover the costs for HIV-PrEP medication as well as for the necessary accompanying examinations. If you have private insurance, you should ask your health insurer to what extent reimbursement is possible. After an initial consultation and the necessary examinations, doctors can then issue a prescription for one month of PrEP. After a further check, prescriptions over three months with checks in the appropriate rhythm are possible. CHECK | AUSGABE 1 27

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.