Greg Owen wished a model new drug, not on the market by way of the NHS, that will stop him becoming HIV-positive. However, it was too late – he already had the virus. No matter this, he and a good good friend labored on a daring plan to help a whole bunch of others to get the model new remedy.
“You perceive for those who do one issue… when your total life modifications? Pressing that ship on Fb was actually the second my total life modified.”
Greg Owen grew up in Belfast, the eldest of six youngsters. It was the 1980s, the height of the Troubles, and he was, as he locations it, “very gay“.
Fast-forward to London in 2015. Greg is working in bars and golf tools, sleeping on associates‘ sofas.
There is no sign of what is to come back again – that Greg goes to help save a whole bunch of lives and alter one of the simplest ways the NHS thinks about gay males having intercourse.
Then, Greg met Alex Craddock.
“He was cute, barely bit sassy. And I fancied him barely bit,” says Greg.
Alex had merely come once more from New York. He had one factor Greg wished very so much. He was on Prep, a relatively new drug seen as a game-changer throughout the fight in opposition to HIV an an infection.
Should you’re on Prep and have intercourse with anyone with HIV, the drug – is taken as directed – is sort of 100% environment friendly in stopping you becoming HIV optimistic even in case you might be not sporting a condom.
The British HIV Affiliation (BHIVA) says the efficacy of Prep is “extraordinarily relying on adherence” by these taking it.
Greg was intrigued. “I was making an attempt to get Prep. And Alex was already on it. He’d purchased throughout the States.” Alex suggested him it was easy to get in New York. Nonetheless, Alex’s present was about to run out. Proper right here throughout the UK, it wasn’t on the market.
“I’d be given this excellent new issue after which it had been taken away from me,” Alex says. “That’s after I first met Greg.”
On the time, HIV diagnoses for high risk groups throughout the UK have been going up. One in eight gay males in London had HIV.
Temporary for pre-exposure prophylaxis, Prep is a pill you take sooner than penetrative intercourse.
Some clients take it every day – whereas others take it “on demand”, throughout the days sooner than and after intercourse.
If a condom simply is not worn, and likewise you come into contact with HIV, the drug stops the virus from coming into into the bloodstream fully. Prep is prevention not treatment.
Nonetheless sooner than you probably can take Prep, it’s essential to make sure you don’t already have HIV.
Greg had managed to pay cash for a small amount of the drug – and so he went for a check out.
He wasn’t too nervous as he’d gone for sexually transmitted an an infection (STI) checks fairly repeatedly. He was watching the doctor. He knew the way in which it labored. The testing bundle would current one dot for detrimental, and two for optimistic. Instantly, in a heartbeat, the whole thing modified.
“Really, ‘Development,’ like two dots so [the doctor] didn’t even ought to say one thing, I seen it because of it was sitting in-between us.”
Greg felt numb, trapped and alone. “I was seeing of us go earlier me and I felt like I was in like a bubble – like there was a one factor separating me from the rest of the world.”
And that’s when he made the selection that modified his life and maybe that of a whole bunch of totally different gay males.
He decided to reveal this massive secret to the world. So, he posted on Fb that he was HIV optimistic. And he talked about Prep – this drug few knew so much about, which may have stopped him getting HIV.
His phone “merely lit up”, he says.
“Initially, of us couldn’t contemplate I’d be executed that. After which there was, ‘What’s all this Prep stuff?’ Why would Prep have saved you HIV detrimental?’ So, I may inform of us what Prep was and I may inform of us the way in which it labored. After which clearly, the following question was, ‘How do I get Prep?’.