Actor Zachary Quinto has responded to criticism over comments he made last year about HIV/AIDS and the preventative treatment commonly known by the brand name Truvada.
The 38-year-old, openly gay Quinto, who is best known for playing a young Spock in the 2009 Star Trek
reboot and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness
, lamented the "tremendous sense of complacency in the LGBT community" over AIDS in a cover story for gay glossy Out
"AIDS has lost the edge of horror it possessed when it swept through the world in the '80s," Quinto told Out
. "Today's generation sees it more as something to live with and something to be much less fearful of. And that comes with a sense of, dare I say, laziness."
Quinto also cautioned against dependence on the treatment known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a once-daily pill which some researchers believe may reduce the risk of infection by 99 percent, when taken as prescribed.
"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 said
. "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."
The comments proved controversial and Quinto responded to the backlash in a Huffington Post
op-ed, where he said that he "never meant to be incendiary or judgmental."
In an interview this week with Michelangelo Signorile, Quinto said that he knows "tons of people" who are taking PrEP but that the regimen is not for him.
"Look, I just think we need to be vigilant as a community and a community of gay men," Quinto said."It was not my intention to judge anybody or 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," he added.