It’s time I break my silence about this issue. It has been something that I have not understood for 3 years. In the winter of 2014 I was raped. After that happened I decided to talk to my doctor about taking PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). I did it not because I sleep around or want ever single guy to shoot there load in me or vice versa. I wanted to be on it because I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Since then its been a pill everyday.
Define: (Bareback: Sex without a condom)
What is PrEP you ask? Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis(PrEP) it’s the use of anti-HIV medications to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV infection.
With that being said, constantly on Grindr I am asked, “Why be on PrEP if you don’t bareback?” Well I will give you a few reason, First off PrEP does not prevent Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis or Herpes just to name a few. Second, I don’t use PrEP for the same reason some people do. For me I just it as a precaution incase a condom breaks or god forbid I get raped again. It’s a piece of mind for me.
Third, I am not your average gay guy with the stigma or fear of dating someone who is positive. I have always said “You can’t help who you fall in love with.” If that happens to be someone who is positive then PrEP really comes in handy. If someone is positive but undetectable with HIV is considered to have an ‘undetectable’ viral load when antiretroviral treatment has brought the level of virus in their body to such low levels that blood tests cannot detect it. Which means they can’t pass it on.
Which takes me to my next topic, most people who are positive did not know they were until they got tested which indeed takes me to my next point. From my own conversation with LGBT youth between the ages of 18 and 27 some don’t have health insurance. There for they don’t get tested regularly. Maybe they have never been tested or don’t want to know their status. Plus PrEP is an expensive drug. I know my prescription for 3 months is over $5000 but after insurance I pay $130 but then I have the co-pay coupon from GILEAD which brings it to ZERO!
My entire point of writing this is because I have been bashed so many times over being on PrEP but not willing to bareback, the drug was not made to constantly blow our loads in each other. It was made to hopefully prevent HIV from spreading. If it prevented other STI’s then great it would be a perfect world but we are not there yet with medicine.
It’s your decision how you treat the drug while you take it. Everyone wants to go bare and not deal with a condom because it feels better. But STI’s are not cute and not all are curable. So why risk it?
I want your feedback on this one. What has been your experience? Have you ran into the same issue? Have you been shot down after saying your “Neg, DDF and PrEP? Tell us your story!