Actor Zachary Quinto Defends His Controversial PrEP/Truvada Comments In New Interview

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Out actor Zachary Quinto has elaborated on comments he made late last year about his concerns with gay men who are using Truvada/Prep for the ability to have recreational sex. He told Out: “We need to be really vigilant and open about the fact that these drugs are not to be taken to increase our ability to have recreational sex,” he says. “There’s an incredible underlying irresponsibility to that way of thinking…and we don’t yet know enough about this vein of medication to see where it’ll take us down the line.”

His comments were met with a wave of criticism from activist who accused him of “slut-shaming.”

Quinto explained himself further in a Huffington Post op-ed piece:

I did not intend to make generalizations about the LGBT community at large — or people living with HIV/AIDS or people in love with someone living with HIV/AIDS.

What troubles me — and what I was trying to speak to in my interview — is an attitude among (some of) the younger generation of gay men — that we can let our guard down against this still very real threat to our collective well-being. I have had numerous conversations in my travels with young gay people who see the threat of HIV as diminished to the point of near irrelevance. I have heard too many stories of young people taking PrEP as an insurance policy against their tendency toward unprotected non-monogamous sex. THAT is my only outrage.

How gay men have sex with each other was unilaterally redefined for nearly two generations as a result of AIDS. I was simply trying to assert my belief that we need to be especially vigilant and accountable to ourselves and one another at this moment in our evolution. It is a tremendous advancement in the fight against the disease that scientists have developed this particular medication. But it’s still early — that’s all. So if what I said — however misconstrued — plays some small part in generating more meaningful informative and passionate conversations — particularly among the younger generation — then I am grateful. And I can almost see it as a way of further serving the community that I deeply admire and respect — and from which I am so proud to hail.

In a new interview, SiriusXM radio host and HuffPost editor Michelangelo Signorile asked Quinto about his Prep comments and the backlash that followed:

I tend to be averse to pharmaceuticals anyway. I’m not a big pill popper in my life. Look, I just think we need to be vigilant as a community and a community of gay men. It was not my intention to judge anybody…to rankle anybody, or to put myself in some kind of superior position by any means. I think if people use PrEP as part of a responsible regimen of taking care of themselves and preserving their bodies and their well-being and the well-being of the people they’re having sex with, then more power to them. There was this thing that I was ‘slut-shaming.’ Anybody who knows me knows that that is the last thing I would ever do. I just think that we can’t let our guard down.

Do you agree or disagree with Zachary’s opinion? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

h/t: instinct