Gay men have been disproportionately affected by HIV since the beginning of the epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two in three new infections occurring in the U.S. today are among men who have sex with men.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
When Brian met Victor he told his brother, “I think I met the man of my dreams.” Finding out that Victor was living with HIV didn’t stop Brian from falling in love.
Brian’s acceptance meant everything to Victor who had experienced past rejection because of his HIV status. Having options that can keep them both healthy gives him tremendous relief.
With ongoing antiretroviral treatment Victor has been able to reduce the amount of virus in his blood to an undetectable level. A large-scale study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that research subjects who maintained an undetectable viral load did not pass HIV to their sexual partners.
As an extra precaution, Brian is on PrEP, short for pre-exposure prophylaxis, a daily pill that has been shown to be very effective in preventing HIV when taken as prescribed.
“Don’t let HIV discourage you from going for true love. If I did, I wouldn’t be with my beautiful husband today,” Brian says smiling widely.
Adrian and Jeff are a young couple who share a passion for life and each other. That Adrian was open about his HIV from the start made Jeff respect and love him all the more.
Like Brian, Jeff gets added protection from being on PrEP.
“As educated as I am about HIV, there’s always that lingering thought like there is a risk,” Jeff admits. “PrEP has allowed us a sense of comfort in the relationship.”
For Adrian, this means everything. He wants to be secure in knowing that he is also protecting Jeff. Aside from Jeff being on PrEP, Adrian is also on treatment and undetectable. As he says, “we pair PrEP and treatment as prevention together.”
“Not every relationship is going to be the same, but find a way to make it work,” advises Jeff. “Go to a doctor, ask about PrEP, see if it’s right for you. HIV will not stand in the way of love!”
Watch their stories for more about how Victor & Brian and Jeff & Adrian are making it work, and click to find out more about treatment as prevention and PrEP.