The Sooner The Better
I was searching online for where I could get an HIV test. That's how I found out about Broward House. I called up and got some information to see if I needed an appointment and what the process was. Broward House was open for walk-ins, so I went there. I had not been tested for probably a year before this. I had been in a relationship, but at this point, I am not in a relationship with anyone. I have multiple partners and I want to protect myself from HIV.
During my testing appointment they asked me about PrEP. Before this, I heard that if you take a pill, it will basically create a protection in your body. If you're having unprotected sex or you're having multiple partners, it could prevent you from getting HIV. The process at Broward House was very simple to get signed up for PrEP.During my HIV testing, they gave me additional information on PrEP, and I decided it was a good option to protect myself. I filled out a few forms and I got a call from CAN Community Health for next steps. After the results from the lab came back, to make sure I qualified for the medication because you have to be HIV negative, the doctor explained the medication. He walked me through it to make sure I understood, and then asked if I had any questions.
When I spoke to my regular doctor previously about PrEP, they just said you're in a relationship, you're not at risk for anything and it made me feel that I shouldn't take PrEP. I didn't feel comfortable asking too many follow up questions. After my appointment with my previous doctor, I didn’t know for sure if I should take it or not and if it would be good for me. The folks who work at CAN are very approachable when it comes to the LGBT community. They made me feel comfortable because, you can ask questions about sex and not worry about being judged. I didn't feel comfortable asking my regular doctor because I felt they couldn’t relate to me. In a relationship or not, it just felt like the sooner the better for me to take this medication.
There haven’t been any side effects for me from taking PrEP. The payment for the medication and appointment was taken care of with help from CAN. It was based on income level, but there are a lot of programs that can help you qualify for the medication to be free or discounted. It’s good to have some type of medication to help you avoid the risk of contracting HIV.