It's been nearly a year. I haven't posted not for a lack of interesting material, but for a lack of passion to express my experiences until now. This week has been pretty transformative for me in that I have had the opportunity to take new steps to protect myself from an infection which has devastated the lives of many individuals, families, economies, and cultures. HIV is a virus which is relatively new to our awareness, and surrounded by stigma. The topic has come up on this blog before, but the difference is that now there are new options available which we can take to exponentially decrease risk from infection in the event of an exposure.
"What about condoms?" I'm sure some of you are saying/thinking. Well, you're right! But they only work when they're used 100% of the time, and assuming they're used properly, and assuming they don't break. There are a lot of "What if's" when dealing with barrier-method (condoms/receptive-partner condoms, dental dams, etc.). PrEP is a great second-line defense. Or even a first line defense, depending on how you look at it.
For those of you who are a little confused:
(What the hell is this guy talking about??)
Pre (before) Exposure (contact with ____) Prophylaxis (protection)
In other words -it's a pill you can take daily to protect yourself from HIV infection in the event you might have an exposure. It gives your cells the ability to stop HIV from infiltrating it, and forcing it to reproduce. Without the ability to reproduce, it dies. Therefore: no HIV infection. But this is only if you take it consistently. And as we all know -people are great at being inconsistent. In other words (and in the eternal words of Dorothy from the Golden Girls, "CONDOMS, ROSE!"
It's not for everybody, and a prescription is required to start the regimen, but it's nothing short of ground breaking, and while the option has been FDA approved since 2012, it has remained a little-known fact for the vast majority of mainstream society. THIS is why I'm recording my experiences and sharing them with you. I've said it before, I'll continue to say it: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
So: while I'm not a physician, nor licensed to give medical advice, I have been working in the field of HIV outreach, prevention, and treatment for over 10 years. As such -ask any questions you might have -and if it's not a question I'm qualified to answer, I can tell you where to find your answer if it's out there.
I'm not the best at video editing or any of this. And it's nearly 10 minutes long... so bare with me. Please share your thoughts. No hate, though. This is a forum for open, honest, nonjudgmental communication.
Oh! And to prevent me from getting sued or any of that business, here's some disclaimers:
*I do not work for a pharmaceutical company.
*I have not received any payment/funding/incentive for expressing my views.
*The views expressed are my own.
*I am not a physician. I do not provide medical advice nor diagnosis.
*The experiences expressed are my own, and may (obviously) fluctuate widely from person to person