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“My Life on PrEP” Article Series

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Using Truvada PrEP to stay HIV negative involves more than just taking a pill a day, according to Jake Sobo, author of the “My Life on PrEP” article series published on the Positive Frontiers blog at FrontiersLA.com. (Looking for the basics on PrEP? Visit the fabulous prepfacts.org, and don’t miss the related posts listed below.)

How do you go about getting a prescription and paying for your daily Truvada? How does taking it make you feel—both physically, in terms of side effects, and emotionally, given that PrEP for gay men has its share of (sometimes highly vocal) opponents? And what does PrEP mean for your sex life?

As PrEP demonstration projects gear up and launch around the U.S., many men may be considering these questions. Sobo’s articles draw from current PrEP research and personal experience to address them candidly, with very frank language and humor.

The writer (who uses a pen name) has drawn some criticism for acknowledging that he opted to take PrEP because he prefers condomless sex—and lots of it. Recounting the conversation in which his doc asked why he wanted pre-exposure prophylaxis, Sobo writes, “I summoned my most clinical-sounding, public health-y voice, and replied, ‘Well, doctor, I have receptive anal sex with multiple male partners and I use condoms inconsistently.’”

“PrEP can be a complex issue that raises a number of questions,” writes Positive Frontiers editor Alex Garner, calling for dealing candidly and sincerely with issues that are vital to gay men’s health. “I wanted to provide a column that captured someone’s authentic experience around PrEP. I wanted it to be honest and frank,” he explains.

Sobo’s reasons for pursuing PrEP may or may not match your own, but either way, you may find helpful his practical tips for getting access to PrEP, remembering to take it, and coping with any side effects—as well as the thought-provoking personal experiences he  shares.

In this month’s edition, excerpted below and available in full at Positive Frontiers, Sobo addresses the “seasonality” of PrEP in gay men’s lives and wonders whether, “for guys like me who have no desire to be monogamous, is there an endgame for PrEP?”

PrEP…Forever? When Do You Stop Taking PrEP

By Jake Sobo

January 10, 2013

I was sitting with a group of friends in San Francisco talking excitedly about PrEP last weekend. San Francisco’s demonstration projects have begun enrolling, and the word is on the street. Indeed, since SF was one of the cities where participants were recruited for the original iPReX study that determined that PrEP was so highly effective, the word on PrEP has been circulating in the gay bay for years now. I even noticed about a half a dozen online profiles where guys proudly declared that they were on PrEP, which I haven’t yet seen anywhere else in my travels.

The topic of conversation turned to a mutual friend, “Jon,” who recently decided to go off PrEP. “Yea, Jon just got into a relationship so he stopped taking it. They’re monogamous, I guess.” I know the friend in question. God bless him; he has a history of repeatedly getting into three month-long mini-relationships that don’t involve condoms from the get-go. Of course, no judgment here. I just prefer to skip the relationship and go straight for the bareback sex. But I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Is he crazy? They just started dating!”…

Click here to read the full article on PositiveFrontiers.com. To read other articles in the series, click the links below.

 

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