Checking In

Welcome back, everyone. It's been a while since I've last posted, so I thought I'd check in with you all. I'm doing great as far as my PrEP experience is going. There have been zero side effects to report and I just cannot express how much more at ease life seems to be without that ever present fear of infection hovering over my life. I have my first post-PrEP HIV test coming up in a few weeks, but I feel it will be the least stressful test I have ever had.

I'm excited also to say that I am now a published writer. I have an essay about Let's Talk About PrEP in this month's A & U Magazine! You can check it out at aumag.org/wordpress/. It's a short little essay, but it's great to continue to get the word out about PrEP. Word of mouth is going to be one of the biggest ways to get people informed about the opportunity that is available.

One last thing: I received a message from a friend of mine from college, Ellen, who wrote me, "Hi Phil! I've been loving your PrEP blogs and I was catching up on them today and wanted to pass on some info that some of your readers might appreciate. Having worked in a hospital/clinic setting as a social worker I've helped a number of families access the prescription assistance programs available through the various pharmaceutical companies and have run into issues at times based on where a patient is going for care. Not all clinics are willing to assist their patients in the prescription assistance programs because the medication is almost always sent to the clinic (as yours is). Not all clinics are willing to have the meds sent to them to distribute. This can be a big barrier for folks who are trying to use these programs." This once again makes me so grateful to have the great care that I am receiving. I really do encourage anyone looking into PrEP to do some research in finding out if your clinic is willing to work with you to get medicated. If they are not willing to work with you, it might be time to make a switch. This is great feedback, Ellen. Thanks.

Well, that's all I really have for right now. As always, I welcome any feedback, questions, or comments. Is there anything you are curious about that I might be able to shed some light on? Is there information that you think other readers would be interested in hearing? Please let me know. I want this blog to be an open forum for everyone. Thanks again for reading!

[Editor's note: This blog was originally written on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, Phil Gill's 57th day taking PrEP for HIV prevention.]