Personal Stories

Personal Stories and Tell Us Your Story

Personal Stories


"I was intrigued about PrEP and PrEPNav New Haven so I made an appointment to come in for my free HIV test and get more information! I must say- I was treated with dignity and respect. After a quick 20 minute test from Nike and Wes, I was assured that I was negative and a candidate for PrEP. Then, I spoke to Bradford who explained the next steps. He was very well-informed about insurances and their policies. I was given a copay card just in case my insurance would not cover the full cost of PrEP. My next step was to call Kelly who was the sweetest person you could ever ask to assist in getting an appointment with a doctor. I had my appointment in less than a week. I met with an APRN named Bob who spoke further about PrEP. After a few questions and answers from both sides, I was told I would receive a call with all of my test results. 24 hours later, Bob called in a prescription for PrEP. I went online to activate my copay card. When I picked up my prescription, I was told it would be $465.00 a month. Once I gave my pharmacist the copay card, the prescription cost $0.00. I paid nothing. I want to thank everyone at AIDS Project New Haven as well as Kelly and Bob. Please, everyone, let’s get this disease under control! Know your status and stay healthy. Also, understand that PrEP isn’t meant for us to go out and be reckless- it’s about being responsible. Once again, thank you all for assisting me in my journey to stay HIV-negative."
Randy T.
RandyT_PrEP_Testimonial
PrEP_Testimonial
I read a few of the gay blogs and gay news sites on the internet on a fairly regular basis and about a year ago now - maybe 15 months - I started to read a lot of articles about PrEP. Not sure if I just started to notice them more or if there were more being published, but I took note. After doing more reading (more clinical data research than anything) I started to think about PrEP in a very positive (pardon the pun) way and decided to talk to my doctor about it. At the time, I was also engaging in rather risky behavior - albeit only with one person, but we were not practicing safer sex and I was never really sure I trusted his sexual activities to be safe with anyone else. So, because of my situation I realized that I needed to consider PrEP as an option and really as an additional protection. It has never been my intention to engage in bareback sex exclusively. I use condoms and PrEP the majority of the time.

Anyway, I went to my doctor and asked him about PrEP. At the time, I was seeing a gay doctor in Seattle who specialized in HIV care / prevention and we talked actually over about two appointments about whether it was the best option for me and how and why I intended to use it. After several talks with him, we both decided that it wouldn't hurt; side effects seem low and as long as my body (kidneys) remained functional it seemed like the right option at the time. So, I started on it.

I guess being on PrEP has made me looser about condoms, something I'm not proud to admit, but it's true. I do worry about STIs so I prefer sex with condoms, but I am not consistent. SO that's definitely a change. It has, however, raised my confidence that I can remain HIV negative despite that behavior. The data I read on PrEP indicates that the chances of seroconversion are very low for a regular user.

I've not received any shaming, but I do feel shame about it sometimes. Specifically when I go to the pharmacy for refills. I feel like I'm being judged, though I suspect that's all in my brain (so, self-shaming?)

I have been rejected by two people because of it. Because, I think, they don't understand it. When I told both of them I was on it, they both seemed to believe that it meant that I had HIV or had been exposed to HIV and that was why I was on it. They didn't seem to understand the PRE-exposure part of it. I tried to explain to the first guy (I was horny) but just gave up with the second. It amazes me that in this day and age, living where I live that there are gay men who don't know what it is. Those guys who know what PrEP is seem surprised when I tell them that I'm on PrEP and still use condoms. I'd say that the majority of the men I have met only use PrEP and don't use condoms, like it is a license to bareback.
Joe D.44 year old man from San Francisco, CA

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  • Share your story about PrEP- feel free to include candid information. Some questions you may wish to address are: Are you on PrEP? How long? How were you prescribed PrEP? Has it been working for you? Have you encountered any stigma for your PrEP use? Has anything changed for you since starting PrEP?
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