Tomas

Me? The ‘Latino’ dude studying and enjoying my time on this amazing side of the planet.

As with any country in the world, when you first arrive, it can be a little bit scary and daunting to expose yourself to others. Popping the bubble of your comfort zone means adapting to a new sex culture and values about relationships, and it can be stressful at first. I find Aussies are chilled so they are always approachable and maybe as interested to meet new cultures as you are.

Yo? El parcerito latino estudiando y disfrutando mí tiempo en este lado maravilloso del planeta.

Como en cualquier lugar del mundo, apenas llegas, puede ser un poco angustiante exponerte a los otros. Salir de la burbuja de confort significa adaptarte a una nueva cultura sexual, nuevos valores para las relaciones, y puede ser estresante al principio. Encuentro que los australianos son relajados así que siempre es fácil acercarse y tal vez están tan interesados en conocer nuevas culturas como uno.

I come from a developing country with lots of cool stuff, like nature and sexiness, but sadly, not very committed to investing in up-to-date sexual health education. PrEP is still sort of an urban myth in my country, and the stigma against HIV is still very high. But! Things are changing, especially among the young.

Vengo de un país del tercer mundo con cosas interesantes, como la naturaleza y la sensualidad; pero lamentablemente, no hay un compromiso por invertir en estrategias ni educación sexual actualizada. PrEP (Profilaxis pre- exposición) aun es algo así como un mito urbano. Pero las cosas han empezado a cambiar en los últimos años, en especial entre la gente más joven.

And yes, my own opinions on HIV were quite ignorant and stupid before I came to Australia. I was lucky to have someone talk to me and update my views on sexual health and PrEP. Yes, I admit I was shaming and hesitant about PrEP at the start. Like, meh!… whatever… guys just want to be irresponsible, side effects this, STIs that, blablablahere, blablablasluts there…Then I arrived to the land of OZ. New game, new lifestyle, new todo. I was wrong.

Y si, mis  opiniones frente al VIH estaban desactualizadas y eran estúpidas e ignorantes. He contado con la suerte de que alguien me tratara de explicar que era eso del PeEP para actualizar mi punto de vista en salud sexual. Tengo que admitir que yo estaba llenos de prejuicios, tenía dudas y estaba echando la culpa. Como que, Meh! Lo que sea… pura irresponsabilidad, los efectos secundarios esto, las ITSs lo otro, blablablapor aqui, blablabla las perras por alla… Y luego estaba aquí en Australia. Nuevo juego, nuevas reglas, nuevo todo. Yo estaba equivocado.

Being from overseas, one of my main concerns was that I wouldn’t have access to PrEP without Medicare. I discovered there are options.

I go to a free appointment for my PrEP tests (many clinics are free for international students) and get my HIV and STIs tested. The next visit, the doctor gives me the prescription. I go to an online pharmacy website, I upload the prescription, pay and order PrEP online. They are not super expensive as it is believed. It’s easy, and they are delivered to my door in less than two weeks. After that I repeat the tests and receive a new prescription every three months. Easy!

Por ser un estudiante con cobertura de seguro medico internacional, una de mis preocupaciones era que no tendría acceso al PREP sin el Medicare card. Pero, con un poco de paciencia, tiempo y aprendizaje, descubrí que esto no era cierto. Voy a una cita de consulta gratis de chequeos y control, el médico me da una prescripción, y con esta pido las pastillas en una farmacia online. Es fácil y llegan por correo a mi casa. Lo repito cada tres meses.

Some people blame other STIs increasing because of PrEP. Hey! PrEP prevents me from getting HIV, it doesn’t control my mind; it does not force me to do anything else. It is my own care and responsibility. Actually, now I’m using PrEP I’m testing for STIs every three months, more often than ever before. What a better way to keep track of other STIs?

En cuanto a echarle la culpa al PREP de las otras enfermedades de transmisión sexual en aumento. Es que el PREP solo me protege de contraer el virus del VIH,no controla mi mente, no me obliga a hacer algo de alguna forma.Al contrario, de la experiencia he aprendido que como tienes controles cada tres meses, es muchísimo más fácil tener control de las otras ITS.

 

I also learnt that PrEP can help reduce stigma for people living with HIV, because being with someone who is HIV positive is no longer an issue. It stops it being an issue. Like at all! Like, trust me, at all!

También aprendí que con PREP puedo ayudar a reducir el estigma que hay contra las personas VIH positivo o indetectables, porque hace que deje de ser un tema del todo. Enserio! Del todo!

I honestly don’t think PrEP is only for guys with a high sex drive or high exposure to condomless sex. Even the expression “safe sex” has a total new different meaning for me now. I see it as an extra step with a profound and positive impact for all. It is an advancement. Like going from an old PC to a smartphone. It’s about adapting to change.

Honestamente,no creo que PREP sea solo para personas con un nivel de actividad sexual alto o que estén constantemente expuestos a “sexo no seguro”. Es que la expresión “sexo seguro” tiene otro significado para mí ahora. Es un paso más con un cambio profundo y positivo para todos.Es un avance, como pasar de un computador viejo a un Smartphone. Esadaptarse a loscambios.

 

I have never felt so fine and comfortable in my own skin. I feel confident, responsible and the old fear brought on by my primal survival instinct has gone.

Nunca me he sentido tan bien y tan cómodo conmigo. Me siento seguro, responsable, tranquilo y el viejo miedo que traía ese instinto primario de supervivencia se ha ido.

It’s daunting to imagine those who preceded us, so worried about issues that are now of less or no concern. Their struggle has paved the way for us! Let’s keep going forward. That can be true activism. Changing the narrative on HIV is a compromise we have with the future guys or girls.

Es extraño imaginar a todos los que estuvieron antes que nosotros, tan preocupados y asustados por temas que ahora son menos relevantes. Su esfuerzo abrió el camino para nosotros. Hay seguir adelante con el siguiente avance. Eso sería activismo. Cambiar la narrativa del VIH es un compromiso que tenemos con los jóvenes del futuro.

 

Everyone deserves to be comfortable and enjoy their sexuality freely and without fear, like it should have been all along. I will also commit to try to increase awareness about the benefits of being on PrEP for other international students, for that can help create change in my home country too.

Todos merecen sentirse cómodos y disfrutar de su sexualidad con libertad y sin miedo, como debió serlo siempre.Tambiénme dedicaré a tratar de pasar la voz aestudiantes internacionales sobre los beneficios de tener PREP, y de esta experiencia crear cambio en mi país de origen.

WATCH A MOVIE ABOUT PREP IN SPANISH ¿Qué es PrEP? HERE

ORDERING PREP

Overseas visitors/ students have two options for ordering PrEP.

1) Order PrEP from Online Pharmacies without a Medicare Card below

2) PAN PREP ASSISTANCE COUPON SCHEME.

1) PrEP Online Pharmacies

GREEN CROSS PHARMACY

$22 a month for TENOF EM (if ordering a three month supply)

Also available RICOVIR EM and TENVIR EM (Please not pricing in is US dollars).

– cost includes delivery.

Delivery time 10 – 14 working days.

DYNAMIX INTERNATIONAL

$23 a month for TENOF EM (if ordering a three month supply)

– cost includes delivery.

Also available RICOVIR EM and TENVIR EM

Delivery time 4 – 7 working days.

ALL DAY CHEMIST

$78 a month for TENOF EM

– cost includes delivery.

 

 

 

Delivery time approximately 14 working days.

AIDS DRUGS ONLINE

$90 a month for TENVIR EM

– cost includes delivery.

 

 

Delivery time approximately 21 working days.

2. PAN PrEP ASSISTANCE COUPON SCHEME.

If you are on a low income or have some financial hardship then you may be eligible for help purchasing PrEP.
For more information click below.
APPLY HERE

SEXUAL HEALTH CLINICS

Call your preferred clinic for an appointment.

All Queensland Health Clinics listed below will not require a Medicare Card and are able to write scripts for PrEP.

 

BRISBANE

SEXUAL HEALTH & HIV SERVICE (BIALA)

*No Medicare Card required

Level 1, 270 Roma Street, Brisbane QLD 4000.

Email: shhs@health.qld.gov.au

Phone: (07) 3837 5611

PRINCESS ALEXANDER SEXUAL HEALTH

*No Medicare Card required

Princess Alexandra Hospital

199 Ipswich Road Woolloongabba Qld 4102

Phone: (07) 3176 5881

IPSWICH

IPSWICH SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICE

*No Medicare Card required

Dr Mekala Srirajalingham

Ipswich Health Plaza
21 Bell Street, Ipswich.
(next to Ipswich train station)

https://www.westmoreton.health.qld.au

Email: ipsh@health.qld.gov.au

Phone: (07) 3817 2428

SUNSHINE COAST

SUNSHINE COAST SEXUAL HEALTH & HIV SERVICE (CLINIC 87)

*No Medicare Card required

Nambour Clinic
Located on campus of Nambour General Hospital (next to multi-story carpark)
Mapleton Rd
Nambour QLD 4560

Email: clinic87@health.qld.gov.au

Phone: (07) 5470 5244

REDCLIFFE

SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICE & HIV SERVICE

*No Medicare Card required

Redcliffe Community Health

181 Anzac Ave, Kippa-Ring QLD 4021

Email: shhs@health.qld.gov.au

Phone: 3897 6300

CAIRNS

CAIRNS SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICE.

*No Medicare Card required

381 Sheridan Street, Cairns North 4870.
www.health.qld.gov.au/cairns_hinterland/

Email: cairnsshs@health.qld.gov.au

Phone: 07 4226 4769

GOLD COAST

GOLD COAST SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICE.

*No Medicare Card required

Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service – Southport Health Precinct 1

4th floor – 16-30 High Street, Southport Gold Coast 4217.

www.health.qld.au/goldcoasthealth/

Email: sexualhealthgc@health.qld.gov.au
Phone: 07 56879200

TOOWOOMBA

TOOWOOMBA SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICE.

*No Medicare Card required

Kobi House, Toowoomba Hospital, Pechey Street, Toowoomba, Q 4350

Phone: 07 4616 6446

CABOOLTURE

CABOOLTURE SEXUAL HEALTH & HIV SERVICE

*No Medicare Card required

Caboolture Square Shopping Center

King St Caboolture

www.health.qld.gov.au/caboolture/
Phone: : (07) 3897 6300 (ask for Sexual Health)

(service available only on Tuesdays)

MACKAY

MACKAY SEXUAL HEALTH AND SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICE

*No Medicare Card required

Mackay Community Health

http://www.mackay.health.qld.gov.au/your-hospitals/mackay-base-hospital/sexual-health-assault-service/

12 – 14 Nelson Street

Mackay Q 4740

Phone: (07) 4968 3919

TOWNSVILLE SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICE

TOWNSVILLE SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICE

*No Medicare Card required

www.health.qld.gov.au/townsville/services/sexual-health

Email TSV-SHS-Triage@health.qld.gov.au

35 Gregory Street

North Ward Q 4810

Phone: (07) 4433 9600

MOUNT ISA

MOUNT ISA SEXUAL HEALTH

*No Medicare Card required

www.health.qld.gov.au/mt_isa/sexual-health

Email: mish@health.qld.gov.au

1 Barkly Highway

Mount Isa Q 4825

Phone:  (07) 4764 0200

PALM ISLAND

PALM ISLAND SEXUAL HEALTH

*No Medicare Card required

www.health.qld.gov.au/townsville/services/palm_sexhealth

Beach Road,

Palm Island Qld 4870

Phone: (07) 4752 5100

For a full list of PrEP prescribers see the PrEP Prescriber Directory

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