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One Man's Experience With HIV Prevention Drugs

August 27, 2013

While many people stress the behavioral aspects of HIV prevention -- encouraging condom usage and understanding one's risk factors when having sex -- a recent article in South Florida Gay News focuses on the emotional toll that HIV prevention can have on a person. Citing one man's experience using daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and his one-time experience with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), the piece asks its readers to understand what, if any, are the emotional side effects of having a daily pill as a reminder of your sexual encounters.

Eddy, a pseudonym given to the 40-year-old Latino man who was interviewed for the article, stressed the fatigue with both PEP and PrEP. Describing his emotional state under PEP, Eddy said,

I was a total mess, terrified that I had become infected but I would have been petrified regardless of the treatment. This was a result of the exposure. After the treatment was over, I felt regret for being such a whore, possibly exposing myself, knowing that I could have become infected.

What do you think? Do Eddy's worries seem misplaced, given that he was actively taking drugs to prevent HIV infection? Does dealing with HIV prevention bring up any emotional issues for you?

Mathew Rodriguez is the editorial project manager for and

Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Adapted from:
PEP and PrEP: One Man's Experience by South Florida Gay News

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This article was provided by TheBody.

Reader Comments:

Comment by: tshiwela (pretoria south aftrica ) Fri., Oct. 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm UTC
My grand mother brest feed my son when he was craying I think he s sick can he get infection through brest feed I mean HIV
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Comment by: Anonymous Sat., Aug. 31, 2013 at 7:19 pm UTC
Rather than pitying "Eddy", wouldn't it make more sense for an HIV website to address the fact that he was "a total mess" at the prospect of having contracted a disease that we're already living with with? Seriously, it's not the end of the world, though people could be forgiven for thinking so when nervous breakdowns like that are publicized and implicitly acknowledged as understandable.
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Comment by: rw (maine) Sat., Aug. 31, 2013 at 6:44 am UTC
The only sad thing about Eddy is that someone sold him a line of crap in order to push as yet unneeded medications that positive people often struggle to acquire, take consistantly, and deal with side effects. Eddy might seek professional help to learn why he can't stop playing with fire instead of allowing himself to become a lab rat with a million dollar sex toy for big pharma and AIDS, INC.
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Comment by: fogcityjohn (San Francisco, CA) Fri., Aug. 30, 2013 at 1:51 am UTC
I think it's really sad that "Eddy" thinks of himself as a "whore" merely for having had some kind of unprotected sex. Is this how we want gay men to think of themselves? What I'd like to know is whether our community's HIV prevention education is contributing to this kind of negative, self-hating thinking.
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