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.