PrEP Stories: Max

Hi. My name is Max. I am a gay man who made the decision to access PrEP by choice.

I found out initially about Prep through my involvement with a task force through the Queensland AIDS Council and the more I found out about it, the more I thought it was a healthy choice for me. I made the decision to talk to my general practitioner about my specific needs and ordered PrEP legally online.

It was a choice that while I had some access to some research about, given the fact I am of a transgendered female to male background the information held in relation to my body was very scarce.

However, as a man with my background, I am still exposed to many of the same risks physically from my partners as cis gendered gay men, and in some ways for men like me, there are at times increased risks.  I wanted to be able to make informed choices and decisions in collaboration with the men I am intimate with about how I am intimate with them.

Being on PrEP has given me that additional power over my own body, health and choices. It has given me an extra tool in my conversations also, to discuss with partners about the kinds of intimacy I share with them.

I have experienced some judgement but I think a lot of that comes from fear and stigma. I don’t judge others on the basis of their status or who they engage with sexually. I’m more interested in the status of their character. I have found PrEP to be relatively symptom free and I feel good that this option was available for me.

People choose to share love and intimacy in a range of ways and I think that these options should be available to all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender. Good health is important for all of us. Being close to people who matter to us in a range of ways is important. I am pleased that PrEP is now part of my tool kit in living my life the way that I want to as a consenting adult.

PrEP is now part of my tool kit in living my life the way that I want to as a consenting adult

For many trans* identified people we are often discriminated against sexually, as people often don’t acknowledge their attraction to us openly, we can sometimes find ourselves in situations where we are not empowered or seeking validation through sexual activity. We may be a small population but we are over represented in poor health outcomes in relation to sexual activity.

Having ownership over decisions in relation to my body have meant I feel more empowered to engage in conversations if and when I need to, and that the choices I make have just an extra layer of protection for me.

I am fortunate as I am able to financially afford this option. Many in my community cannot and for this reason I am one hundred percent in support of PrEP being recognised on the PBS.

I look forward to the future where men will no longer have to go abroad for this choice and can make this decision in ways that work for them.

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