Community Insights - Life on PrEP (Erik)

Thomas Trombetta
Erik Mikkelsen

Today we chatted with the wonderful Erik! Erik is a 27-year old single man in Calgary, Alberta who goes by he/her/they pronouns. Erik works in the cannabis industry, as well as a drag performer and co-owner of a drag booking company. If you want to book a socially distanced drag show, Erik is the one to talk to ;) Check out more about Erik's PrEP journey below!

Erik's Journey on PrEP

How did you first start considering that PrEP was an option for you?

I had heard about PrEP from a few friends as a prevention method for HIV. I didn’t know too much about it, so I did a bit of online research until I fully understood it’s benefits. I had always practiced safe sex, especially with those whose sexual history I didn’t know, but I knew I wanted to add another prevention method for good measure. 

How was your journey accessing PrEP?

When I had decided that PrEP was something I wanted to look into further, and see how it would fit into my lifestyle, I reached out to my family doctor. She had heard about it, but didn’t have a ton of knowledge about the drug, and what it could do for me. 

I felt a little stuck because I knew I wanted to take more control of my sexual health, but wasn’t getting the answers I needed. I saw a social media post about Freddie and instantly knew it was something I wanted to explore more, so that I could get access to PrEP.

With PrEP, I feel safer. Like I said, I always made sure I was being as safe as I could be when it came to sex, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have slip ups. PrEP helps me have the peace of mind that I am doing something for myself that is preventative and makes me feel more confident about my sexual health. I’m in charge of my body and being on PrEP helps me with that.

How has your experience with Freddie been so far?

When I first contacted Freddie about starting my journey with PrEP, I was so shocked at how easy it was. I couldn’t believe that it could be so fast and convenient - I honestly thought it was way too good to be true. 

Everything from the online consultation with the doctor, getting my STI requisition, and getting PrEP delivered to my front door was easy. The only thing that I personally had to do was talk with the doctor about why I thought it fit my lifestyle, and then go and actually get my blood work done. 

The best part is that Freddie reminds you when to go and get your blood work done, before you even run out of PrEP. For me, that’s a game changer. I’m a busy guy, and constantly having to remember when I need to get my blood work done, is something I struggled with. Not anymore. 

There was zero judgement when I had my first consultation - no awkward doctor visit, no shame in talking about my sexual history. I feel so supported by every member of Freddie and cannot recommend Freddie more. 

Erik, thank you so much for your time! If you want to follow Erik on social media, find him through the links below:

Instagram and Twitter: @Nada_Nuff_

At Freddie, we believe accessing PrEP should be easy and stigma-free. We’re here to make the whole process easier for you, from appointment reminders to hassle-free online check-ins with your Freddie care team. To start your PrEP journey with Freddie, click here to start filling out your questionnaire. Erik, thank you for sharing your story!

Written by:
Thomas Trombetta

Thomas is passionate about gender and sexuality liberation social movements. Before beginning his work with Freddie, Thomas studied Sociology and Global & Development Studies at the University of Alberta, after which he began working with marginalized communities. In previous roles, Thomas was involved in queer and trans health education, PrEP health promotion, community-based research, HIV education, and LGBTQ2S+ advocacy.

Erik Mikkelsen

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