Your Experience is a Gift

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chicago doctor: "I don't always use condoms. And I don't always top. I will not give this up."

I have  a few young guys who need me, who engage me, and it feels so wonderful to be alive now.

via Chicago doctor

I am a 51 year old HIV negative gay infectious disease physician. 

When I began having sex at 19, I bottomed bare from the start with a few guys.  Then at 21 (in 1984), in one of my med school classes, the lecturer said that the development of an HIV test had allowed researchers to discover that for every one AIDS case in New York there were 100 infected.  I suddenly realized that there were more than 3 cases in Michigan, and that the bathroom stall at Mason Hall was not a good idea any more. 

So I tried to marry a guy, as I was kind of like that anyways.  That went 3 years.  Then I got dumped.  I tried Catholic celibacy for a year, then started going to bathhouses twice weekly to watch other guys fuck, but I was too frightened to do anything but oral. 

At work, I watched crop after crop of patients my age die.  Shocking horrible deaths.  Old college crushes one by one were memorialized, and then slowly forgotten   I went to therapists to try to control my behavior.  It worked well enough. 

I tried to marry a guy again at 30.  At 34, I found him crying in the bedroom, having just got his HIV diagnosis that day.  So, I learned we were not actually monogamous, and my escape-the-epidemic strategy had failed.  But it hadn't.  He had made me a top, and I was OK--negative despite the worst sore throat ever that week.  I helped get  him to an  undetectable viral load, took him to my best friend colleague, who put him on crixivan, zidovudine and lamivudine.  He is healthy, and with me, now for 21 years. 

Since I was 35, I have not used a condom when I fuck him, and he has never had a detectable viral load.   I let him come in my mouth, because I want that.  But we stopped having sex when I was 48.  I don't know why.  We love each other.  He is my mate in life.  He bakes me raisin bread, washes my clothes, lies beside me sleeping when I come back at midnight from hospital rounds. 

When I was 48, I saw the "monkey PrEP" data.  I began taking Truvada then, on my own. I took a half pill every day.  I did not tell my internist.  She refers patients to me, and is like a second mother.  I got labs for my cholesterol.  I took  leftover meds that had been returned, as there was always enough, because I take care of hundreds of HIV patients.

I discovered the internet at 49, and Grindr at 50.  I have more sex now than when I was 19.  I have  a few young guys who need me, who engage me, and it feels so wonderful to be alive now.  I don't always use condoms.  And I don't always top.  I will not give this up. 

Each of these relationships (ok some of them are, at best, encounters) makes me feel something-- vital.  I can't suppress these needs through work any more.  I am now officially on PrEP.  I am still negative.  I so hope the miracle of 2012 (when the FDA approved Truvada as PrEP) will save me, just like the miracle of 1996 saved the last few of my college friends. 



  1. Wow. Great! thank you so much for sharing.

  2. I don't get why there is such reluctance to use a condom? You know better than anyone, doc, that you got very very lucky in your life. It's not because you were smarter than anyone...

    Take your Truvada but still practice safe methods. There are also other STDs than HIV that you don't want to catch on the regular.

    Dangerous article and questionable anonymous source.

  3. How is this article dangerous? This doctor didn't stay HIV negative because he was "lucky" - did you read what he wrote? And Truvada IS safer sex when it comes to HIV prevention. It works exceptionally well. Condoms, it should be noted, are not protective against a number of STDs - and most don't use them for oral sex, which is a way STDs can be passed. As for the anonymity - the doctor felt he needed to remain anonymous because of the types of shame and judgment exemplified in your comment, Ryan.



#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)