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TV’s ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Takes On PrEP

Only two episodes in and How to Get Away with Murder’s second season is keeping me and the millions of others on the edge of our seats, making history and also giving us all something to talk about.

The season one finale dropped a bombshell on us when Oliver, the computer geek boyfriend of playboy Conner Walsh, revealed he tested positive for HIV after urging that the two of them get tested because of Conner sordid past.

After a couple quick puffs of my inhaler, for obvious reasons, I honestly thought this spelled the end of Conner and Oliver’s relationship. During the premiere of season two, I was surprised to see Conner playing the role of a doting boyfriend in spite of his boyfriend’s status and even more surprised they were having the “PrEP talk”.

At the start of this new season, we see the couple engaging in a hot and steamy sex scene where I was willing to bet this was going be the set up for the characters to reiterate the importance of safe sex in the LGBT community (see: me rolling my eyes). Its 2015 most of us understand the importance of safer sex, but instead Oliver wards off Conner’s sexual advances and tells him, “You need to wait for your prep to kick in.”

Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected. A single pill, taken once daily, interferes with HIV’s ability to copy itself in your body and establish an infection after exposure to the virus.  Unfortunately, PrEP does not if you are already infected with HIV.

How to Get Away With Murder  (HTGAWM) is the first show on network television to address the use of PrEP since its approval by the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration in 2012.

I wasn’t completely unaware of PrEP. I mean, I had seen signs on the subway and maybe heard someone mention it in passing. It wasn’t until I was in the middle of pretending to be a student at the Middleton Law School where HTGAWM takes place,  that a conversation regarding PrEP had my full attention.

I have to stand on my seat and applaud the writers for introducing to millions another way to prevent the spread of HIV.

The producers are dealing with a big issue in a way that has never been done before on TV. With leveraging How to Get Away with Murder’s success as a way to spark a conversation, this could become the new normal in the LGBT community.

Also, anyone reading this please to do not contact me between the hours of 10p.m. and 11p.m. on Thursdays, as I will be in class at Middleton Law!

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