PrEP is Protecting Yourself
I am a 44-year-old Latino-Hispanic, heterosexual man, and I’m on PrEP.
I heard of PrEP through a peer support specialist that I had back in 2019 who worked for the organization Latinos Salud. He was able to give me all the information for PrEP and convinced me that it was in my best interest to protect myself while engaging in sexual activity. I live in Broward County and South Florida is high for new HIV cases.
The motivation for me to continue to use PrEP is because I'm very health conscious. Currently, I don't suffer any side effects from taking PrEP. I feel physically and emotionally healthy. I take a pill once a day, it's easy to remember. I just take my pill every morning.
The peer support specialist that I had was very detailed in giving me all the information about PrEP. So, it was a good incentive. The first thing was to get HIV tested to check my status. My results were negative.
Then, I was given an appointment date with a doctor. I had a session with the prescribing doctor, and I was able to get on PrEP. It comes in a monthly supply and every time that I come in, he asks how I'm doing, if I'm suffering any side effects to make sure all is well, and then the medication is filled.
I would tell anyone who’s hesitant to get on PrEP, to think about their future and their health. We are living in one of the populations most affected by HIV in the United States. Your partner, whether they are male or female, heterosexual or part of the LGBTQ community, may not even know that they're HIV positive and can transmit it to you. At least by using PrEP, you're protecting yourself against any unforeseen possibilities that might arise in your future.
If I was going to engage in sexual activity, I would have a mature conversation about getting tested first. I believe in open communication and that's the only way a relationship truly works. Both of us get tested at the same time, just so that all the information is on the table.