Campaign “I swallow, do you?”

In early 2019, PrEPnu started a campaign to encourage people who want PrEP, but who think it may be too much of a hassle, to take the step anyway.
For this campaign, we asked six people to act as a role model and talk about why they use PrEP.
Alaa – 34 jaar, using PrEP for 2 years

Before being on PrEP, I was always scared after con­dom­less sex’

The first times I heard about PrEP, I was a bit hes­is­tant about it. I wasn’t con­vinced that it would be some­thing for me. My views changed after I hooked up with a guy on PrEP who told me a lot about it. I went to my GP for a pre­scrip­tion, but unfor­tu­nate­ly he was very reluc­tant to help me with PrEP. I have a med­ical back­ground myself, and was able to con­vince him in the end. But oth­ers may be held back by their doctor’s oppo­si­tion, which I think is real­ly a bad thing. Before I was on PrEP, I some­times had sex with­out a con­dom, but I was always real­ly scared after­wards. That’s changed com­plete­ly. I’m ful­ly con­fi­dent now that PrEP pro­tects me against HIV. And con­doms, well… I pre­fer not to use them any­more. It just feels so much bet­ter without.

Costas – 22 jaar, gebruikt 1,5 jaar PrEP

I was one of the very first peo­ple in Ukraine to get on PrEP’

In Ukraine I was with an HIV char­i­ty organ­i­sa­tion, and they start­ed a small PrEP pilot project with 20 peo­ple. I got the pills for free, but had to take care of all the tests myself, and that’s quite expen­sive in Ukraine. I’ve been in the Nether­lands for a lit­tle over a year now. Life wasn’t safe any­more for me as an LGBT activist. Trans­fer­ring my PrEP care didn’t go very smooth­ly though. My GP in Hoogeveen told me I should just use con­doms. In the end he agreed do to the tests, but he won’t give a pre­scrip­tion. For­tu­nate­ly friends in Ams­ter­dam are able to help me get­ting the pills. I was a drag activist already in Ukraine, and here I joined the House of Hopelezz. I like the polit­i­cal side of drag. Being on PrEP has def­i­nite­ly changed my sex life. I feel so much more free.

Luna – 22 jaar, gebruikt 1,5 jaar PrEP

Being on PrEP has been good for business ;-)’

I’ve nev­er been very wor­ried about get­ting HIV, but of course it’s bet­ter to pre­vent it if you can. And since I’m not too fond of con­doms, it seemed a log­i­cal choice for me to get on PrEP. For both pri­vate and pro­fes­sion­al rea­sons actu­al­ly, because I’m also a sex work­er. I used to be very strict on using con­doms with clients, but this did lim­it my clien­tele. So I could say being on PrEP has been good for busi­ness as well. 😉 I’m orig­i­nal­ly from Madrid, and I noticed that the atti­tude towards PrEP is quite dif­fer­ent there. Once when I was back in Spain I was aggres­sive­ly harassed on Grindr for being on PrEP. So I just decid­ed to put in my pro­file that I’m pos­i­tive, that was eas­i­er. But it all comes down to lack of infor­ma­tion I guess. I’m glad peo­ple are gen­er­al­ly more informed on PrEP here.

Peter – 52 jaar, gebruikt een half jaar PrEP

PrEP heeft mijn sek­sleven totaal veranderd’

De aids-epi­demie van de jaren 80 en 90 heb ik van dicht­bij meege­maakt, en con­dooms waren daarom echt een vanzelf­sprek­end­heid. Des­on­danks heb ik het alti­jd ver­schrikke­lijke din­gen gevon­den. Uitein­delijk betek­ende dat dat ik gewoon nauwelijks nog neuk­te. En toen was er PrEP. Hoewel ik een pri­ma relatie met mijn huis­arts heb, wilde hij écht geen PrEP voorschri­jven. Ik kon hem niet over­tu­igen. Gelukkig kon bij een pro­gram­ma van de Ams­ter­damse GGD terecht, en daarmee zijn mijn tests en recept geregeld. Mijn sek­sleven is sinds­di­en wel echt veran­derd. Con­dooms zijn de deur uit. Ik heb wel vak­er een soa dan vroeger, maar dat is het me waard. Gelukkig gaan ze daar bij de GGD relaxed mee om.