Getting PrEP: Step One

Timothy Kincaid

November 20th, 2015

truvadaAfter several weeks of effort, I was able to find a doctor within the Blue Shield HMO plan who prescribes Truvada as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP. The source of my primary care is now through APLA Health and Wellness at the Gleicher / Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills.

This feels a bit ironic to me. For years I’ve sporadically supported AIDS Project Los Angeles. I’ve participated in the AIDS Walk from time to time and contributed to various programs but they weren’t particularly applicable to my life. They were just a “good organization” with whom I didn’t much interact.

Thursday evening was my first appointment. There was almost no one in the waiting room and the staff was more than pleasant. The employees seemed to be genuinely enjoying their work and their interaction with patients. The office, which is only a year old, was spotless, well lighted, and comfortable.

I didn’t see my doctor yesterday.

Before Truvada is prescribed, a series of tests needs to be run. There was blood work taken for two HIV tests (one which identifies more recent exposure), a liver test, as well as the usual lab work. Urine and swab samples were taken to indentify any sexually transmitted infections. And, of course, there were questions about recent sexual history and practices.

The nurse-practitioner was friendly, informative, and willing to answer questions. She was aware that some personal questions are uncomfortable and made the process feel professional rather than invasive.

We discussed the changes in care and protection over the years and the hopes for the future. Although we both celebrated the changes we’ve seen, she expressed concern about how a younger generation sees HIV like it sees diabetes, not terribly serious. A long time AIDS care provider and community advocate who has lost many friends to the disease, she’s disappointed that more people are not availing themselves of PrEP. I share that feeling.

But now I wait.

In two weeks I will return for my results and, if everything is proper, I’ll get my prescription and join the ranks of those who are proactively protecting themselves from the HIV virus.

Priya Lynn

November 21st, 2015


Timothy Kincaid

November 21st, 2015

Thank you, Priya Lynn

Mark F.

November 21st, 2015

Sounds like you are making an informed decision. However, I rarely have sex at all, let alone receptive anal sex, so I see no compelling reason to get on this drug. However, it would be easy to do so here in the Bay Area.

Joe Beckmann

November 21st, 2015

While waiting two weeks for the results of your tests for PrEP, could you have availed yourself of PEP? It frankly sounds immensely elaborate to use a treatment with nearly 20 years of successful history and documentation, particularly since PrEP is, in effect, a byproduct of PEP, itself a byproduct of treatment-as-prevention, most of which are remarkably unknown to the vulnerable of this generation.

Timothy Kincaid

November 22nd, 2015


Thanks for the recommendation.

But PEP is a post exposure prophylaxis, a treatment for one month for those who believe they have been exposed to HIV. The treatment must start within 72 hours of exposure.

That isn’t the case for me, so PEP would not be appropriate.


We’re pretty much in the same boat, but I’m thinking of PrEP less as an immediate need and more as an insurance against the rare and unexpected.

enough already

November 22nd, 2015

As a result of the discussion about your quest here over the last weeks, my husband and I ordered Truvada Whore T-Shirts to wear to the last meeting of our local Democratic Party.
We’re monogamous and have been for over 36 years now. Also, negative, not that it matters.
You know whom it weirded out the most? The PC-Police types.
They just don’t like gay men who have condom free sex. At.All.
Well worth it. It’s a good thing in one’s fifties to shake up the raised-pointy-finger-prudes.
How ironic that you, a far-right conservative Christian Republican are more in tune with reality than the PC-Elite of my party.

Priya Lynn

November 22nd, 2015

Enough, prudishness has nothing to do with most of us recommending the use of condoms in conjunction with PREP. It’s sad that you’re blinded by the false belief that anyone recommending condoms in addition to PREP is anti-gay sex. We’re about safe sex, not anti-sex.

Priya Lynn

November 22nd, 2015

Enough is determined to be at war with people who want the best for others.

enough already

November 23rd, 2015

Priya Lynn,
That nastiness in your replies illustrates just how right I am to fear the ‘help’ you and other SJW and PC-Police want us gay men to ‘voluntarily accept’. For our own ‘good’, of course.

If gay men want to use condoms, fine by me. I hate the nasty things, have never met a gay or straight man in real life who feels differently. In fact, the only time I’ve ever read ringing endorsements of them was on forums like this one – and those endorsements very much sound like they were written by women, not men.

Ditto the whole ‘you can’t feel a guy come in you’ lies.

Condoms do prevent the transmission of a wide range of diseases, not least the HI-Virus. This is a great and a good thing.

However, after over 30 years of every possible attempt to get men – gay or straight – to wear them, nothing has succeeded. It’s been a dismal failure.

Now, if at the outset of the push to use condoms, the CDC (hard to find a more homphobic, conservative Christian group in government) had not published the lies about natural ‘lambskin’ condoms, perhaps usage would not be as dismal. But, they did and what remained on the market was second only to Y-Front briefs with yellowed bands and skid marks as a sex-drive killer.

Our main argument, though, is your disdain for gay men who don’t adhere to your PC-Sanitized world.
We don’t fit in with your agenda, we never will, by definition and we must practice constant vigilance to prevent people of your mentality from discriminating against us.

Timothy Kincaid

November 23rd, 2015


thanks for the congrats

(though I do think of myself more as “centrist libertarian” than “far-right conservative Christian Republican”)

Mark F.

November 23rd, 2015

I see nothing wrong with “recommending” that people always use condoms, even with Prep. I do realize that many people aren’t going to do it. I don’t think they are stupid, just taking a bit more risk. Life is all about trade offs.


November 24th, 2015

Speaking of PREP,
“NEW YORK CITY: Leaders To Spend $6.6M On PrEP & HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis”

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