My name is Tarriaki and I live in Brisbane. Originally, I grew up predominately in Toowoomba, however I have lived in many regional locations such as Goondiwindi and Boggabilla. My father’s mob are the Kamilaroi tribe from NSW and my mother’s tribe are Bidjara in Western QLD.
I first started taking PrEP two years ago before I commenced my transition to becoming a woman. At this time, I was more sexually active, and I knew I needed to protect myself with more than just condoms. PrEP provides me with daily peace of mind and safety as I journey through the world as a woman. I have been on PrEP for over two years now and have had no side effects, and now that PrEP is on the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (PBS) our Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander mob can access PrEP protection for free, under Closing the Gap. I highly encourage mob to practice and promote safe sex and to have the confidence to walk through life knowing they are taking responsibility in their sexual health.
I am excited to be a part of the #ComePrEPd Campaign, especially as a Sistergirl (Aboriginal Transgender woman). Historically PrEP was targeted at gay men, however I proudly pose as a Sistergirl on PrEP knowing that I have taken the steps to protect myself from acquiring HIV regardless of my sexual life. I personally believe that the Trans, Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities should be more active in protecting themselves against HIV through PrEP. HIV is still a leading concern in sexual health in rural and remote communities, we must stand together against the spread of HIV and ensure that wherever we go walkabout, we are always protected by PrEP.
The Closing the Gap (CTG) program makes getting PrEP affordable.
The CTG PBS Co-payment Measure improves access to PBS medicines for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living with, or at risk of a chronic disease. This includes prescriptions for PrEP.
If both the clinic and you are registered for Closing the Gap, you can get PrEP:
- Free (with a Health Care Card)
- $6.60 (without a Health Care Card) for a month supply.
To learn more about accessing PrEP from the Closing the Gap incentive CLICK HERE
Social obligation to others is testament to Aboriginal societies & cultures & nurtures our system of self & group identities, our sense of belonging, relatedness, kinship and strengthens our social bonds. All of this compelled me to do my part & share my PrEP story & contribute to education & promotional programs for positive influence. See Greg’s story HERE