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 TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.