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One Man’s Year on PrEP

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Derek Brocklehurst, RN (photo: San Francisco AIDS Foundation)

“It’s always important to re-evaluate where you are at in your sexual life,” says San Francisco nurse and HIV counselor Derek Brocklehurst. For him, that reassessment meant taking a pill a day for one year to help protect himself from the virus.

It started with a frank conversation with his medical provider: “I was very open about my condomless sex practices with many multiple partners,” he writes on the My PrEP Experience blog. His provider suggested using the antiretroviral drug Truvada as PrEP, and Brocklehurst fit this relatively new tool into his existing HIV prevention strategy. “I believe it has contributed to helping to keep me HIV negative,” he adds.

For him, PrEP was a “seasonal” strategy, one that met his needs for a specific time but doesn’t today: “After taking PrEP for one year, I found the love of my life and decided to give monogamy a try.”

Brocklehurst shared some of his PrEP experience on the panel for last fall’s community forum, “F**k Without Condoms? Ever?” Speaking frankly about having condomless sex, he emphasized that “we need to communicate properly the consequences that may ensue, but also not demonize these folks who choose this thing for their body.”

In his blog post, he stresses that PrEP isn’t a perfect strategy for every person at every time, but he offers encouragement to those who, like he did, believe this new strategy might be right for them: “If PrEP makes sense, talk to your provider and get on it!”

Check out the excerpt from Brocklehurst’s blog post below, and read his full story here.

Derek Brocklehurst—A Year on PrEP, That’s All He Wanted

From My PrEP Experience

February 21, 2013

I started PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) in October 2011. I was presecribed Truvada “off label” before it had actually been approved for PrEP by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration.) FDA gave its approval in July of 2012.

I had an honest, open-ended discussion with my Nurse Practitioner and, without any judgment on his end regarding my frequent condomless sex practices, he said, “You would be a great candidate for this medication.”

It was covered 100% by my insurance, and Gilead also offers co-pay assistance programs to cover the co-pay of the medication if you are prescribed it, so I literally paid $0 for this potentially pricey preventative….

Get the full story over at the My PrEP Experience blog.

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