My PrEP Story: Part II
If you’ve been following my PrEP journey, you might want to know a little more about me. My name is JT and I am a proud Black musician from the south side of Chicago. I have had many careers from library security officer to lab scientist to a freelance writer.
I consider my music-making to be a vocation. Music means so much to me now more than ever. It is the thing that runs through most moments in my life. My community is very important to me. And I am a PrEP advocate.
What sex and intimacy means to me
From childhood, I always had a curiosity and a sense of the beauty for people. Every individual person is so unique and special to me. My idea of beauty and love is very particular and I always know it when I see it.
It's not just one's looks or intelligence. Beauty has to do with what one does with their whole being to express love and compassion for other people. Now I know that is a grand notion of beauty, but it's simply a feeling that someone gives off.
Sex should be fun
Art and sex are some of my most intimate moments and through both, I am able to communicate expressions of love. Sex for me is a moment to give and receive love. I really want to put a smile on their face. I want to explore as much as is mutually satisfying. I want to have fun. Sex should be most of all fun; otherwise, I don’t think I would do it.
My experience with PrEP
PrEP is a tool that allows me to be accountable to my partners and myself. In all my medical experiences, PrEP has been the most unique ‘accident’. Not only does it allow me to be accountable, it helps me develop a meaningful relationship with my healthcare provider. Going to a doctor's office every three months is a chance to really open up to this stranger that is my doctor.
A better understanding of my overall health
I have a better understanding of my overall health too. The screenings brought attention to my tendency to carry extra weight and also my slightly elevated blood pressure. If I wasn’t already going in for my PrEP appointment I would have never known I was at risk for these additional chronic conditions.
Learning about myself in my PrEP journey
In my life, I truly strive for balance of my mind, body, and spirit. On this journey, I am realizing the ups and downs of taking medications every day. I have also learned so much about myself and what my personal values are when it comes to sex.
Through these experiences, I am constantly forming opinions on what I like and don’t like, and with it is the eventual settling into who I’ll be for the rest of my life. I am grateful for this journey so far and, with or without PrEP, I think it serves a meaningful purpose in helping people express themselves and find out what they value in a potential partner.
Be well and comment below.
At what age were you diagnosed with HIV?