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PrEP and Unconditional Love: One Man’s Personal Story

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Like condoms, PrEP (short for pre-exposure prophylaxis) helps prevent HIV infection when used consistently and correctly. In PrEP’s case, “consistently and correctly” means not only taking a pill once a day but also getting tested for HIV, screening for other sexually transmitted infections, and being monitored for kidney health four times a year.

James Loduca

James Loduca

That’s a serious commitment to managing one’s own sexual health, and choosing to use PrEP is an intensely personal decision—a decision James Loduca, San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s vice president of Philanthropy & Public Affairs, shares in a moving story on HuffingtonPost.com.

“PrEP may not be right for everyone, but everyone deserves the chance to choose,” writes Loduca. See the excerpt below to understand how he came to choose PrEP for himself, and read the full article at HuffingtonPost.com for his take on claims that PrEP is just a “party drug.”

Unconditional Love and PrEP

April 23, 2014

By James Loduca

Two years ago, something unexpected happened. I was seven years into an incredible relationship. We married in 2008 during the brief window when it was legal for same-sex couples to wed in California, and my husband and I became poster boys for marriage equality (really—our wedding picture was on a poster). We initiated the process of adopting a child. Never in my life had I been so happy.

Then, suddenly, my husband shared news that I hadn’t seen coming: He wanted something different and would be filing for divorce. My world crumbled. The next six months were the most painful of my life. I couldn’t sleep, lost my appetite, and went numb inside.

On the outside, I refused to show it. I started dating, went out to bars, and even made some decisions in the heat of the moment that I normally wouldn’t. I was determined to convince the world (and myself) that I was fine. In retrospect, it was a fairly common response to intense emotional trauma.

My doctor wasn’t fooled. He referred me to a therapist to start the hard work of healing. He also prescribed Truvada, a drug that protects against HIV infection. It’s a groundbreaking HIV prevention strategy known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which has been proven highly effective when taken correctly. PrEP is an especially good option for people during “seasons” of risk, or for anyone who struggles with perfect condom use 100 percent of the time….

Read the full story at HuffingtonPost.com

Wondering whether PrEP might be right for you? Have burning questions about this new HIV prevention tool? Curious how providers can get comfortable prescribing PrEP? Find answers in our “virtual library” on PrEP, with a myth-busting video, personal stories, provider perspectives, and more.

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