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Is the New "Anti-HIV-Pill" Helpful or Dangerous?

Prof. Döring and R. Walter, M.A., publish in Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung

Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung

The "Anti-HIV-Pill" (technical term: oral HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, in short HIV-PrEP or PrEP) is a drug for HIV-negative people with an increased risk of HIV transmission. If they take PrEP according to the prescribed schedule, they can hardly become infected - even during condomless sex with a viremically HIV-positive person. The HIV protection provided by PrEP is significantly higher than the HIV protection provided by a condom. However, PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections and does not prevent pregnancies.

The "Anti-HIV-Pill" is regarded as a turning point in the global fight against HIV and AIDS by the World Health Organization and national health authorities. But so far this new method of HIV prevention is not well known even among experts. And it is by no means uncontroversial: Does the PrEP possibly undermine the success of decades-long public relations work for use of condoms ("condoms protect") and lead to dangerous "carelessness"?

Against this background, Prof. Döring, research group Media Psychology and Media Design, has edited issue 4 / 2019 of the "Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung" (IF = 0.698) as special issue of the HIV-PrEP. The issue presents current data from PrEP-related research, critically examines the PrEP-related medical treatment guideline and reports on various practical experiences with PrEP.

In the editorial of the issue Prof. Döring gives an overview of the current state of discussion and research on the HIV-PrEP, deals with the sexual-moral dimensions of the topic and compares, among other aspects, the public debates on the "Anti-HIV-Pill" with those on the "Anti-Baby-Pill". 

How the HIV-PrEP is represented in the German-language press, on the web and in social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) is subject of a content-analytical study conducted by Prof. Döring and Roberto Walter, M.A., in collaboration with master student Kathrin Knutzen. The study follows the Open Science approach. It turned out that the current representation of the HIV-PrEP in German-language media is more positive than previous representations in US media. A higher quantity and more target group adapted media representations of the HIV-PrEP seem desirable in order to promote sexual health.



Döring, N. (Ed.). (2019). Die neue „Anti-HIV-Pille“ (orale HIV-PrEP) und ihre Folgen [Schwerpunktheft] [The New “Anti-HIV-Pill" and its Consequences] [Special issue]. Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung, 32(04). Link.

Döring, N. (2019). Medikamentöser HIV-Schutz mittels PrEP: Aktueller Diskussions- und Forschungsstand [Drug-Based HIV Protection using PrEP: Current State of Discussion and Research]. Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung, 32(04), 189-197.

Döring, N., Walter, R., & Knutzen, K. (2019). Mediendarstellungen der HIV-PrEP: Inhaltsanalytische Befunde zu Presse, Web und Sozialen Medien [Media Representations of the HIV-PrEP: Content-Analytical Findings on Press, Web and Social Media]. Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung, 32(04), 207-218.