ComePrEPd: Taking PrEP to prevent HIV gives Tarriaki peace of mind

comeprepd tarriaki hiv prevention prep indigenous
Photo: Queensland Council for LGBTI Health

PrEP is a prevention strategy where HIV negative people take one oral pill a day to prevent HIV infection. ComePrEPd is a community-driven HIV prevention campaign by the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health to increase awareness of PrEP. To find out more, visit the website here. Read on to hear from Indigenous Sistergirl Tarriaki about why she is advocating for PrEP.

My name is Tarriaki and I live in Brisbane. Originally, I grew up predominantly in Toowoomba. However I have lived in many regional locations, such as Goondiwindi and Boggabilla.

My father’s mob are the Kamilaroi tribe from NSW and my mother’s tribe are Bidjara in Western Queensland.

I first started taking PrEP two years ago before I commenced my transition to becoming a woman.

At this time, I was more sexually active. And I knew I needed to protect myself with more than just condoms.

PrEP provides me with daily peace of mind and safety as I journey through the world as a woman.

I’ve been on PrEP for over two years now and have had no side effects, and now that it’s on the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (PBS) our Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander mob can access PrEP protection for free, under Closing the Gap.

I highly encourage mob to practice and promote safe sex and to have the confidence to walk through life knowing they are taking responsibility for their sexual health.

I’m excited to be a part of the #ComePrEPd Campaign, especially as a Sistergirl (Aboriginal Transgender woman).

The Closing the Gap (CTG) program makes getting PrEP affordable

Historically PrEP was targeted at gay men. However I proudly pose as a Sistergirl on PrEP knowing that I have taken the steps to protect myself from acquiring HIV regardless of my sexual life.

I personally believe that the Trans, Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities should get more active in protecting themselves against HIV through PrEP.

HIV is still a leading concern in sexual health in rural and remote communities. We must stand together against the spread of HIV and ensure that wherever we go walkabout, we are always protected by PrEP.

The Closing the Gap (CTG) PBS Co-payment Measure improves access to PBS medicines for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living with, or at risk of a chronic disease. This includes prescriptions for PrEP.

If both the clinic and you are registered for Closing the Gap, you can get PrEP:

  • Free (with a Health Care Card)
  • $6.60 (without a Health Care Card) for a month supply.

To learn more about accessing PrEP from the Closing the Gap incentive, click here.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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