‘I Was Denied PEP After Being Sexually Assaulted’
For anyone who doesn’t know, PEP is akin to the Plan B of PrEP. If taken within 72 hours of exposure to HIV, it will ensure the virus does not duplicate inside the body.
So when Kenneth was assaulted by someone who didn’t use protection, he knew he had to get PEP.
“While dealing with the emotional aftermath of the encounter, the next day I went to who I thought was going to be a queer-friendly doctor. I said I was raped and that I’d like to get on the post-exposure pill. Because you’ve got that 72-hour window before HIV takes hold,” Kenneth explained.
Kenneth was told there was nothing that could be done for him and that they couldn’t provide him with any medication. But, they told him if he did discover that he had contracted HIV, they would be glad to help him with any and all of his medical needs. “So I went somewhere else and was told I’d have to spend $1000 for the pills and I didn’t have the money so I never got them,” he said. “Luckily I didn’t contract anything. That was eight or nine years ago. To be entirely honest, I haven’t been to a specialist since about that time.”
He views Western medicine as less of a way to stay healthy and more of a way to manage disease. He places importance on eating well and taking care of his body. A dancer and acrobat, he is able to stay healthy through keeping active.
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