Disclosing your status can be daunting and extremely personal task, whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been so for some time. Remember, is it YOUR information to disclose and it can be difficult to do so no matter who you are sharing this information
Some key facts to remember – both for yourself and to who you are disclosing to.
– You are healthy. You are and will be doing everything you need to do in order to remain so. It is not a death sentence.
– It is not something to do apologetic or ask forgiveness for.
– Make sure that you disclose in your own time and are comfortable with who you are disclosing to.
– Don’t hide your status when it is important (medical professionals, lovers) but remember you don’t absolutely need to disclose to everyone in your life.
– Trust yourself. Make sure you are following what you want.
– Make sure you have someone to talk to you – both personally (have a friend who can talk to). Also consider reaching out to a professional to help gather your thoughts and talk to without any judgement.
– While it may sound weird, take a breath and relax. You are most definitely not alone.
– Lastly, know your resources. Reach out to professionals for help, advice, a source to talk to not only about this but anything.
– Mental health is as important, if not more, as physical health.
PrEP and PEP
If you or someone you know is interested in preventative treatment for HIV or has potentially been exposed to HIV, below is information related to PrEP and PEP.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
PrEP are antiviral medications used by HIV-negative individuals to prevent the transmission of HIV. It is taken before any potential exposure.
PrEP is highly effective – up to 99% at preventing HIV transmission if taken consistently as prescribed.
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
PEP are antiretroviral medications used by HIV-negative individuals who have had a single exposure or potential exposure to HIV. If you had a high-risk sexual encounter or found out you were exposed to HIV, you can use PEP.
If the medication is used within 72 hours of exposure, it can prevent HIV infection.
You can go to any hospital emergency room or urgent care to access PEP.
What else should I know?
PrEP and PEP are covered by most insurances including Medicaid. However, if you don’t have insurance, there are programs that can give you access to the treatment.
PrEP and PEP are preventative medications. PrEP and PEP will not help those who have been diagnosed with HIV.
It is important to note that if you are diagnosed with HIV, due to modern advances in treatment most folks diagnosed with HIV go onto living normal and healthy lives.
Where can I find access to PrEP and PEP?
The Los Angeles LGBT Center offers PEP and income-based treatment. To learn more, please call The LA LGBT Center at: 323-993-7500.
Ready, Set, PrEP provides nationwide access to PrEP for those facing economic barriers to accessing the medications. For more information visit: www.getyourprep.comPlanned Parenthood clinics offer access to PEP for those facing economic or insurance barriers to the medication. To find a clinic near you visit: www.plannedparenthood.org/get-care
Emergency rooms and hospitals are among the most frequent prescribers of PrEP and PEP. If you don’t have access to immediate care from other resources listed, visiting the hospital could provide you with access to treatments.