Your Experience is a Gift

For questions about PrEP in general, and for a Chicago/Illinois specific provider listing, visit

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interview Part 2: Toronto Health Promoter Chooses PrEP

via Positive Lite (Canada)

Part 2 of an interview with Len Tooley, an HIV-negative gay guy who is taking pre-exposure prophylaxis. He works in Toronto as a gay men’s health promoter, HIV educator, tester and counsellor. In this part of the interview, he discusses the conversations he had with his doctor before getting a prescription for PrEP.

It took about four appointments for me to actually get the prescription from my doctor. The first time I mentioned the idea he told me that before we considered it, we’d have to have a lengthy discussion about what was going through my mind when I decided not to use condoms. I told him that I wished it was that simple (I’m an HIV counsellor after all), that it wasn’t as simple as a ‘yes or no’ decision, and that I could guarantee him I was trying my absolute hardest to have perfectly safe sex. I just wasn’t succeeding perfectly.

At the second appointment (I was there for something else) I again brought up the idea of PrEP. This time he was still a bit hesitant, and told me that if he was going to prescribe PrEP I was going to have to get blood tests to test my kidney and liver functions and make sure I was HIV-negative, and then, depending on those results, we could talk about it more. I agreed, he gave me the test requisition, and that day I went to a lab and got my blood work done.

Once I knew my blood work results had arrived, I scheduled another appointment and saw my doctor. He confirmed that I was still HIV-negative and that all my kidney and liver function tests were okay. I was pretty nervous and excited. He asked me what I’d do if I experienced the side effects of the medication. I told him that I knew that only about 5% of people in studies of the drug had reported side effects, so it wasn’t too likely, but that if I did have those side effects I’d reconsider staying on it if they didn’t go away and became intolerable. Then I told him that I knew there could be longer-term side effects, but that right now it was probably better for me to go on Truvada temporarily while I feel I’m at risk for HIV, than get HIV and have to take that drug, or other drugs, for the rest of my life.

Read the rest.


No comments:

Post a Comment


#TruvadaWhore (2) access (2) advocacy (6) Affordable Care Act (2) AIDS Foundation of Chicago (4) Alan Johnson (1) antiretroviral therapy (10) Atlanta (1) AVAC (1) ball (1) Bangkok (1) Bangkok Tenofovir Study (1) bareback (2) billing codes (1) black gay men (13) black MSM (2) bottom (1) ButtaFlySouL (3) Canada (7) Cape Town (1) CDC (6) Center on Halsted (8) Chicago (18) clinical (2) clinical trial (2) clinician (2) co-pay (4) community forum (7) control (1) CORE Center (1) CROI 2015 (1) Damon L. Jacobs (3) David Dodd (6) demonstration project (1) Derek Brocklehurst (1) doctor (14) drug coverage (3) gay (44) Gilead (9) Give Out Day (1) guidance (2) Gustavo Varela (1) health insurance (24) heterosexual (5) HIV (16) HIV prevention (112) HIV-negative (45) HPTN (1) IDU (1) Illinois (1) injectable PrEP (1) injection drug use (1) Ipergay (1) iPrEx (6) Japan (1) Jared Baeten (1) Jean-Michel Molina (1) Jim Pickett (1) Ken Like Barbie (9) Len Tooley (3) Los Angeles (4) Magpie Suddenly (1) maraviroc (1) Marc-Andre LeBlanc (4) Mark Hubbard (1) Medicaid (1) Mitchell Warren (1) My PrEP Experience (49) Myron Cohen (1) Nashville (1) Next-PrEP (2) Nick Literski (1) Obamacare (2) porn (1) Positively Aware (4) PowerPoint (3) pre-exposure prophylaxis (106) pregnancy (4) PrEP (122) PrEPception (4) prescription (11) Project Inform (3) Project PrEPare (3) Project RSP (7) protection (1) PROUD (1) provider (2) raw sex (1) Raw Sex Just Got Safer (2) receptive (1) relationships (15) research (14) safer sex (89) San Francisco (5) sex (12) sexual health (25) Simon Collins (1) Singapore (2) South Africa (1) Spanish (1) stigma (3) Sybil Hosek (2) talk show (1) tenofovir (1) Tokyo (1) training (2) Truvada (99) Truvada Track (1) USCA2014 (1) video (24)