Dirk (37) chose PrEP

People are critical of my choice, but it’s the right one for me

Dirk is participating in the AMPrEP study and that is how he protects himself against HIV. This makes him feel better about his sexual health than he used to.

“I have been protecting myself agains HIV by taking PrEP (Pre-Exposure Profylaxis) for 18 months now. I stopped using condoms. Lots of people are critical of my choice, but it’s the right one for me."

“There was a period when I went to darkrooms regularly and did have sex with condoms. But I still had to go to the GGD (local Public Health Service) nearly every month because I got chlamydia or gonorrhea from having oral sex, and despite that I still refuse to give blow jobs with a condom. Since I started participating in the PrEP study at the GGD, I am much more at ease and I feel much better about my sexual health."

“I have to get tested for HIV and other STIs every three months. If I do get something, they are on it immediately. This means that I am less of a risk to others and I see myself as a safer fuck than someone outside the PrEP study, precisely because I am dealing with it so intensively."

“Besides that, I enjoy sex much more. I was born in 1980 and had seen ads on TV warning people for HIV since I was a kid. The fear that develops in you as a child is now much less. One the one hand, I have a very free sex life, am married with an open relationship, and on the other hand, I also protect myself against HIV. Of course I am still at risk from other STIs but I think that everyone who has an active sex life is.”

 

This is what Dirk does to protect himself from HIV and STIS:  

Condoom: No
Tests: Yes, every three months
PrEP: Yes
Hepatitis A vaccination: Yes 
Hepatitis B vaccination: Yes 
Partner notification: Yes
Risk reduction strategies: I used to, now less 
Symptom Checker: No

Do you want to tell which choices you make to protect yourself from HIV and/or STIs? Mail your story to Man tot Man!

Text: Tomas Derckx | Photo: Armando Branco
This text was previously published in Winq.

Editor’s note

Man to Man interviewed men with a wide variety of experiences and reasons to use PrEP. Their personal stories about sex and health do not necessarily reflect Man to Man’s recommendations. PrEP is a very effective way to protect yourself against HIV. For other STIs, condoms are the best available protection.

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