Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Security of PrEP

Well, when it came down to it...I couldn't do it.  I couldn't have unprotected sex to try to conceive, without PrEP. My husband was always a bit apprehensive about it, but I insisted that I felt comfortable and confident that my risk was practically non-existent. (I still think my risk is practically non-existent, but that's different from entirely non-existent)

For those who don't know what PrEP is, it is a new HIV prevention strategy for HIV negative individuals, who are exposed to HIV, that reduces their risk of becoming infected. It consists of taking an anti-HIV medication called Truvada, once a day before coming into purposeful or accidental contact with HIV.

We had discussed it, and made the decision to try to get pregnant without using PrEP this month.  I began tracking my cycle using an ovulation monitor.  Things were progressing as planned and I began daydreaming about how I'd react to a positive pregnancy test. Thinking about how I'd tell my husband, how we'd tell our family and friends, what a sweet big sister our daughter would be, etc. But the first morning that showed an increase in hormones that trigger ovulation, I was struck with the teeniest amount of fear. Suddenly that almost non-existent risk seemed significant. And for the next two mornings, that fear grew. On the morning the monitor showed I'd be ovulating, I knew in my gut that I couldn't go through with it.

I realized I need to have the security of PrEP as a safeguard in our efforts to conceive.

For me, the smallest, teeniest and most nominal amount of risk was monumental. It felt like stepping over a crack on the sidewalk and jumping over the Grand Canyon at the same time....either way, there was no way I was going to cross over.

I started to pressure myself, knowing that I'd have to make the decision THAT day or else wait another month to try to conceive. I thought about all the data, research, studies, etc. that shows low risk.  In the end, I thought about the moment I'd be looking at a positive pregnancy test again...and I decided that I only want to feel joy and elation.  I don't want even the smallest, teeniest amount of uncertainty because it would cloud over the moment for me. And I've fought too hard and too long to such a moment be anything but joyful elation.


STD Information said...

Internet Sites like Poz dating sites or support groups can be great places to meet with other people who already know what you're going through. Going into a date knowing that your partner has that in common with you can take a lot of the stress away. This can cut out Rule 2 altogether.

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Ivan Chang said...

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