Photo credit: mochamanual.com

I have been taking PrEP for roughly 9 months and I have no complaints about the medication.  I am a 40-year-old woman who is HIV negative, and my partner is living with HIV. We are in a serodifferent relationship. My boyfriend is 27 years old and has been positive since we met in October of 2013. I get tested every six months and I have maintained my negative status since then. I was given the option to take PrEP because we want to attempt to conceive a child – at this time we have not been successful. I visit Drexel University quarterly for necessary testing, along with the refill of my medication. I found this facility from a blog. Drexel was looking for serodifferent couples looking to conceive. I would encourage other couples to participate with PrEP treatment.

When I first met my partner, he had just been diagnosed with HIV. I have not gone to any of his appointments, but I encourage him to keep all appointments made.  We have a very close, but open relationship-four years later I feel a lot different than I did when we first met about him having this virus.  In the beginning, I was afraid and did want to have much involvement with him sexually, but the fact that he does not ejaculate like most men (he has to masturbate for this to happen) lowered my chances of acquisition.  Now, he has been on antiretroviral therapy for over two years and is considered undetectable. I have done my research and now know that the risk of me getting HIV is very low.

Just to give a little history about our relationship-my boyfriend is bisexual and contracted the virus from one of his previous partners, and I was in a heterosexual relationship that I was involved in for over 14 years. We met at our place of employment, and hit it off very well, to the point where we begin to engage in an affair. With the fear of my ex-husband contracting HIV, I abruptly left the marriage and continued my relationship with the gentleman I am engaged to today.

The only side effects my finance has encountered with the medication he takes is vivid dreams, but he has not had any other issues. He has been positive for 4 years that he knows of. He currently takes Stribild.

We are seeking the assistance from a fertility doctor to assist us in conceiving a child; hopefully we will be successful one day. I did a lot of research to help educate myself regarding this issue to ensure that HIV would not transfer to me because I have two children, ages six and ten from my previous marriage.

The more research I do, I notice I am not alone out here – one negative partner and one positive. I felt a little better about my decision to continue the relationship once I saw other couples out there like us, for quite some time I felt awkward and crazy.

 

Drea lives on the East Coast with her partner.

 

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Information and Resources from HIVE

As PrEP training and implementation roll out across the U.S., we are wondering how the 468,000 women who may benefit from PrEP are finding out about this new HIV prevention method, what they think about it, and what barriers remain. Applause for clinics who are routinely offering PrEP to women, including trans women. And applause for women who are thinking about what PrEP might be to them.

We are on a journey, learning and growing together. Want to share your #WheresMyPrEP story? Looking for a platform for your voice? Interested in helping others by sharing your story? We can work with you if you prefer to be anonymous. No professional writing skills necessary. Contact Caroline@HIVEonline.org.

See below for resources on PrEP.

New Study Shows PrEP is as Safe as Aspirin

Is PrEP Right for Me? A Guide for Women

Preventing HIV During Pregnancy/Breastfeeding: Using PrEP and/or PEP

CDC PrEP Basics

Truvada Approval History

HIVE Fertility