April 2018 Update – PrEP has been listed on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) in Australia. Learn how to access PrEP now.
Not currently available in Australia, PrEP continues to gain momentum and stigma worldwide as a preventative tool to reduce HIV transmission.
Asked why they take PrEP, several gay men and serodiscorant couples from New York and San Francisco shared their reasons:
Have you encountered stigma? If so, how have you addressed it?
“…I remember conversations with my friends and loved ones who died from AIDS. They wanted me to live, they wanted me to thrive, they wanted me to fight. They would have taken PrEP to stay alive if they had had the choice. I speak out for them, as much as for myself. That makes the stigma and attacks tolerable.” – Damon L Jacobs, 43, New York
What advice would you have for those who are on the fence about PrEP?
“It’s good politics to be on PrEP – it’s good to want the AIDS epidemic to end. It’s also good to be able to truthfully say to your poz friends, “This is literally something that doesn’t even potentially matter to me.” Sexual exclusion of poz people is a very real and very shitty thing. When you go on PrEP, you’re not neg or poz anymore – you’re ‘post’.” – Christopher Glazek, 29, New York
When did you decide to start taking PrEP, and what prompted the decision?
“I decided to start taking PrEP before I met my partner, Tyler, who is HIV positive. I have been taking it for two years, and it had more to do with the line of work I am. But being with someone who is HIV positive, it only makes sense to add that layer of protection for both people’s piece of mind.” – Michael Lucas (pictured right, below), 42, New York
How has PrEP changed your relationship or dating life?
“I’m as sexually active (or not) as I was prior to being on it. I know there are other STDs that can be transmitted during sexual intercourse or fisting, and I do take those factors into account. It’s just nice knowing that the biggest risk is now off the table.” – David Grodsky, 44, San Francisco
How has PrEP changed your relationship?
“PrEP has given us more ease when thinking about HIV. I know my husband would never want me to contract the virus from him, so this provides both of us with more comfort knowing that added level of protection is there.” – Patrick Buzzell (pictured bottom, below), 37, New York