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Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is medicine that can be taken to reduce a person's chances of getting HIV from sex or sharing drug injection equipment. PrEP is for people who do not have HIV but have the chance of getting it. When someone taking PrEP is exposed to HIV through sex or sharing drug injection equipment, the medicines can keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection. Taking PrEP as prescribed by a health care provider can reduce the chances of getting HIV by up to 99% from sex and by at least 74% from sharing drug injection equipment.
 

Medication also can be taken following a possible exposure to HIV to help prevent transmission of the virus. In such cases, the medications are referred to as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Both PrEP and PEP can be prescribed by a doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

To read stories from real people in Michigan who are using PrEP to prevent HIV, visit MIPrEP MIChoice.

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)

MIPrEP MIChoice: Real People in Michigan Using PrEP

MIPrEP MIChoice shines a spotlight on authentic stories from real people across Michigan who use PrEP to prevent the spread of HIV. MIPrEP MIChoice highlights nine individuals from diverse backgrounds who share their own reasons for using PrEP. Each personal story represents a step towards ending the stigma around HIV and promoting a healthier future for all.

 

Christopher/Caj Monet

Pronouns: He/Him
Hobbies: Performing Drag

“PrEP helps me take control of my own sexual health. People are afraid because they’re not educated. In the Black community, things like mental, emotional, physical health and homosexuality are sometimes very taboo. I tell people not to be scared of medicine. It’s best to have all the information to make an educated decision about your health.”  

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Doran

Pronouns: He/Him
Hobbies: Theater, writing, embroidery

“PrEP empowers me. I’m making choices for my personal health to do what is best for me. It gives me a boost of self-confidence, which being queer and a Middle Eastern man, you tend not to have as much. A big part of the queer Middle Eastern experience is shame. That shame leads people to not talk about things, or look for help, and just to continue behaviors without the knowledge of what they are doing. Taking PrEP gives me a sense of safety, protection and self-care.”

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Monica

Pronouns: She/Her
Hobbies: Ballroom house mother, female illusionist

“I have been losing so many of my friends and loved ones to the HIV epidemic. My main goal is to stay protected, live a long, happy, healthy life and to still have healthy sex. When you’re on PrEP you can do all of those things. Being trans we are already stigmatized and have labels on us. I choose to be healthy. I choose to live my truth. PrEP gives me that sense of choice.”

Monica is a founding board member of the Trans Sistas of Color Project and one of the founding mothers and active board members and co-chair of MHAC (Michigan HIV/AIDS Council).

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David & Reese

David
Pronouns: He/Him
Hobbies: Performing drag, drawing, reading

“PrEP gives me comfort and security. I’m taking precautions for my safety. I love that feeling for me and my partner. Peace of mind is hard to come by when first coming out. I am from a small town and didn’t know about PrEP. I highly encourage others to get on this pill that lowers the chance of getting HIV.”

Reese
Pronouns: He/Him
Hobbies: Video games, outdoor activities

“PrEP makes me feel safe. It makes me feel confident and takes the worry out of the moment. Taking PrEP lessens the chance of getting HIV. I encourage people to get tested, talk to their doctor, and open the door to more safety.”

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Alfredo

Pronouns: He/Him
Hobbies: Karaoke, advocacy, activism

“After a few years of skepticism, I finally got on PrEP. I decided it’s best to be proactive in maintaining my own sexual health because it’s a part of my health in general. I wanted to be a good example to others. I feel encouraged because this medicine is available to our community now. I get discouraged because some people can’t get over the stigma. We need to make HIV less scary. PrEP is just part of my tool kit.”

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Chase

Pronouns: He/Him
Hobbies: Concerts, hiking, camping

“PrEP is a form of safety. I practice safe sex, but at the same time it’s just peace of mind more than anything. I know PrEP doesn’t prevent everything, but it helps prevent HIV. It’s important to normalize PrEP to other people as well who may not take it or know that it exists. For anybody that’s sexually active I can’t recommend PrEP enough.”

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Jeena

Pronouns: She/Her
Hobbies: Entertaintress, making art, making wigs

“At one point I thought I had HIV. It turned out that I didn’t, but I felt comfortable enough to seek help. It’s nerve-racking to go inside a testing clinic. I don’t feel that way anymore. It’s better to live comfortably than to feel anxious. PrEP gives my partner that safety and security of knowing that I don’t have HIV. It makes me feel at peace. My advice? Don’t believe all the myths out there, listen to the medical professionals. Do it for the people you love.”

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Tiffani 

Pronouns: She/They
Hobbies: Volleyball, bowling, hiking, kayaking

“I am a single mom of three boys. I got a job and was talking to others about how PrEP helps prevent HIV and I thought I should be taking this myself. It’s an extra step of protection. You think you know your partner, but you never really know. It’s a daily reminder of your choices and to take care of yourself.”

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"The Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic"

The MIPrEP MIChoice campaign features a mural titled "The Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic" created by local Detroit artist Demetruis R. Green Jr. who works in HIV Prevention as a PrEP Navigator. Located at the Detroit Public Health STD Clinic, the mural celebrates community and represents progress and hope in HIV treatment and prevention. 

“The Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic” is comprised of three interconnected pieces that blend elements of nature and industry. The mural is filled with symbolism and each piece has a different theme, including “PrEP Works”, a tribute to Detroit and a celebration of Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U).