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What is DoxyPEP and should more queer men use it to protect their health?

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DoxyPEP has hit the news following a sexual health conference last weekend. Attendees at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle heard the results of several new studies into the treatment.DoxyPEP is short for Doxycycline Post-Exposure Prophylaxis.

It means taking the antibiotic doxycycline after a sexual encounter to minimize the chances of acquiring an STI such as gonorrhea or syphilis.

Doctors are exploring it as one way to tackle the soaring STI rates in the US.A study last year found that when used within three days after unprotected sex, doxycycline reduces STIs by more than 60% in gay men.The latest study took place in France and involved 500 gay and bisexual men.

It found doxycycline lowered the rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis by 51% to 89% when taken within 72 hours of sex.That’s the good news.On the flip side, scientists have been warning for decades not to overprescribe antibiotics.

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