My HIV Diary: The Magnetic Cost of PrEP, Week 40
Ryan Dixon (a.k.a former porn star Kameron Scott) has started taking HIV medication. He’s keeping a diary of his experience.
Being in my mid-20’s isn’t easy, add HIV on top of that and we have one hell of a complicated life. I’m making the best out of the hand life has dealt me and the decisions I’ve made along the way. Writing helps free my mind. Hopefully these words will help you understand the plight of others like myself, and inspire you to live each and every day in the moment.
Week 40 (May 31 – June 6)
My first week in Atlanta has been a whirlwind, to say the least. Work has been slow, but steady, and I’m finally starting to settle in, I think. I have a doctor’s appointment back in Florida on Saturday, June 8, so I’ll be sure to update everyone with my numbers and my future in the study next week. I’m only going back so I can make sure I have one more month of medication. It’s going to be a long overnight drive on Friday.
Speaking of medication, this week’s diary has been a long time coming. I moved to Atlanta for the opportunity at a new path in my life – a path that was well needed. I’d grown stagnant in Fort Lauderdale and I was craving for a change. The friends I had made in the last year in Atlanta gave me the chance to do something else with my life. There’s also Dylan. I would hope that me covering different leather events, people would know the type of relationship I would want to have. Dylan can give me that. Now, I didn’t run away to go chasing after some guy, but it did help me decide if I really wanted to take a chance on Atlanta. So far, it’s paying off. Dylan and I are exploring the possibility of being in what we like to call a “magnetic” relationship, meaning he’s HIV negative and as you know I’m HIV positive. Positive and negative – just like a magnet.
Dylan made the decision to start taking Truvada last week as a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), something that I was completely against people doing. I feel so selfish for thinking that these healthy people were taking medication out of the hands of HIV and AIDS patients that need the medication more urgently, in my opinion. That all changed last week. Dylan and I always use protection, whether it be condoms or gloves, during sex and heavy play. He happened to put a finger in me without a glove and there was a little blood when he removed it. He had been thinking about starting PrEP so this incident was sort of a defining factor.
Much like what I’m doing with this diary and writing about my experiences with taking HIV medication,. Dylan has started to write about his thoughts and feelings while starting PrEP. It’s an eye opening experience for both of us, I think. I still don’t really know how I feel about it deep down. I told him I support him doing everything necessary to protect himself, but I still can’t help thinking about people I know who are living with the virus and could use the pills he’s taking now every day. Can I really be upset pills aren’t in the hands of people who need them to live when someone is taking them to ensure their never in that position? Talk about the ultimate catch 22.
An open and honest line of communication has been key for Dylan and I to come to an understanding on the subject, even if it does still bother me. Studies have shown PrEP to be a viable option for those seeking extra protection against HIV infection, but it comes at a cost to all of us. A physical, emotional and economical cost that I think was ignored all in the name of HIV prevention.