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Health

Pop Quiz: Explain ‘Undetectable’

Photo by Angello Lopez on Unsplash

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Can you explain what Undetectable means in terms of HIV transmission? Do the acronyms U=U or UVL mean anything to you?

The sexual health landscape for gay men is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest developments and be informed.

The short answer is that people people living with HIV whose treatment has reduced their viral load to ‘undetectable’ can’t transmit HIV to their sexual partners. Whatever your status, this is a big deal.

Courtney Act breaks it down

One of the break-out stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Courtney Act recently recorded this handy explanation for a recent campaign in New Zealand.

Undetectable Viral Load: Quick Facts

  • When HIV cannot be detected by standard viral load tests, a person living with HIV is said to have an “undetectable viral load.”
  • Most people diagnosed with HIV will be able to achieve an undetectable viral load. Chances increase with an early diagnosis, which is why regular testing for HIV is important.
  • The main benefit of an undetectable viral load is better quality of life and long-term health outcomes for people living with HIV.
  • Research of gay and bisexual men with an undetectable viral load and their HIV-negative partners in the Opposites Attract Study reported no cases of HIV transmission in over 12,000 reported acts of anal intercourse where neither condoms or PrEP — the daily HIV prevention pill — were used.
  • On top of this, top line results of the PARTNER trial showed zero HIV transmissions in 22,000 occasions of sex between gay male couples where the HIV infected partner had an undetectable viral load.
  • The Centre for Disease Control — CDC — supports the notion that ‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’ — also known as U=U.
  • While having an undetectable viral load means there is no risk of HIV transmission, it won’t protect from acquisition or transmission of other STIs — like syphilis, or gonorrhoea. So it’s important to continue to have regular sexual health check-ups.

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Butt sex for beginners

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I caught up with Chris Davis from TAKE TWO to discuss how a dietary supplement can play an important role in anal sex.

What led you to create the TAKE TWO dietary supplement?

We saw an opportunity to deliver the absolute highest quality of dietary fibre blends to a demanding market, while offering a premium alternative with high-end, discreet packaging that really sets us apart from other brands.

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My understanding is that there are similar types of fibre supplement products on the market, but I haven’t seen anyone else market them specifically to men as an aid to anal sex. Why did you decide to focus on that market?

Pure for Men is the clear market leader and actually does speak to clean anal sex, however, we’ve found what is considered to be a more effective formula that delivers even better results.

We decided to make a splash in the market after early customer reviews raved about just how much of a difference TAKE TWO made to their digestive health and confidence in the bedroom. We also found that a lot of customers prefer discreet packaging and bottle labels, which matches the high-end look and feel of TAKE TWO.

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Is TAKE TWO an alternative to douching or just an additional option to help guys be clean and confident?

We like the idea of have additional tools in the shed for every occasion! TAKE TWO is not meant to completely eliminate the need for general maintenance and hygiene, but we have found that many of our customers spend 70 percent less time ‘getting ready’ while some users have forgone traditional preparation steps, altogether. We’re such strong believers in the above claims that we stand by these promised results with a money-back guarantee.

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The edition that you’ve created in partnership with the Tom of Finland Foundation looks great — why was the imagery of Tom of Finland a good fit for TAKE TWO?

It’s no secret that here in the office, we love the rich, leather-bound imagery rooted in Tom of Finland’s unique catalogue of art. It was an obvious match to the leather-like look and feel of our standard TAKE TWO bottle design, and not at all hard to imagine how amazing the Tom of Finland art would look if properly featured on the TAKE TWO product.

We worked closely with the Tom of Finland Foundation to identify some of the most iconic pieces, and coupled them with the jaw-dropping metallic backing on each panel to give that one-of-a-kind finish. After the first bottle was completed, we knew it was a winning bet.

Customers have fallen in love with the result, and we’re already getting daily requests for new favourite pieces of Tom of Finland artwork to be featured next.

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How do you market your product?

We rely heavily on word-of-mouth, but have run a few very successful campaigns on social networks and dating apps like Scruff and Hornet. We’ve also partnered with doctors serving the LGBTQ community around the US who see the immense value in supporting fibre-rich diets via TAKE TWO’s premium blend of soluble and insoluble fibres. You’ll likely see TAKE TWO popping up in various radio, television and social media campaigns featuring respected online personalities that have made the switch to better fibre.

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I was interested to see in your Q&As that you specifically talk about the product’s capability with PrEP — was that a question that you were receiving from customers or did you just want to proactively address any potential concerns that might be out there?

Although risks are determined to be relatively low when it comes to dietary fibre supplements and medications like PrEP, we wanted to be 100 percent certain that best-practices are being followed to eliminate any doubts.

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If I was a young guy, just starting to explore my sexuality, what hints or tips would you give to make anal sex as enjoyable as possible?

  • Get to know yourself and your body inside and out. This includes everything from exploring tools like lubricant and practising with safe objects and toys to get a feel for what works for you.
  • Be sure you are comfortable with and trust your sexual partners before diving in.
  • Remain sex-positive and remember that sex is a long journey — an experience that is meant to be enjoyable.
  • Take your time and communicate freely before, during, and after playtime.
  • Play safe!
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Dive into the world of TAKE TWO

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