“I was tired of worrying all the time about getting infected”

A man who has undergone PrEP treatment at his own cost for 18 months says it was a huge relief for him to stop having to worry about getting infected by HIV. He is one of many men considered at high risk for HIV because of his lifestyle.

PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, an anti-viral drug used to prevent HIV infection in individuals at high risk.

A milestone was reached in June when the Icelandic Medicine Pricing and Reimbursement Committee agreed that PrEP treatment should be free in Iceland. PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, an anti-viral drug used to prevent HIV infection in individuals at high risk. GayIceland interviewed Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist last year after he recommended PrEP treatments to be made free of cost to Icelanders.

However, a few individuals in Iceland have actually been undergoing PrEP treatments for the past couple of years, at their own cost but with the assistance of health authorities in Iceland, infectious disease specialist Bryndis Sigurdardottir revealed in an interview on Monday.

“The reason why I wanted to start using PrEP was to protect myself from HIV infection and to be in control over my own health.”

Being at high risk of sexually acquired HIV infection simply means that an individual is having sex without using condoms, is having sex with HIV infected individuals, is having unprotected anal sex, has a certain number of sexual partners over a period of time or is in a steady relationship with a HIV infected individual so people in that group can be of all genders. However, the most worrying rate of HIV infections in Iceland occurs in the MSM group, or amongst men who have sex with other men.

GayIceland has spoken to one of those individuals, a man who belongs to a high risk group of men who have sex with other men and was assessed at high enough risk to be eligible for PrEP treatment.
“This medicine was really liberating for me and even more liberating was to have access to the infectious disease ward at Landspitalinn where the nurses welcome me without any prejudice,” he starts by saying, but because he doesn’t want to be judged for his lifestyle choices, he prefers to be unnamed in the interview.

“The reason why I wanted to start using PrEP was to protect myself from HIV infection and to be in control over my own health. I was basically just tired of worrying all the time about getting infected by HIV and perhaps inadvertently infect others as well. Those who are undergoing treatment for HIV are usually not infecting others at the same time so, the biggest threat is those who are infected but don’t know about it.”

Bryndsis Sigurdardottir, infectious disease specialist at Landspitalinn.

As Bryndis pointed out, a condom is the go-to prevention from HIV infections but the reality of it is that certain groups of people simply don´t use it and keep on practicing high risk sex. So, rather than trying to change people´s behaviour to no or little avail, it´s considered a better option in the long haul to help these individuals to prevent getting infected by medicating. Our interviewee agrees and explains the risk. “I know I should use condoms but sometimes that fails to happen, sometimes it’s because of me, sometimes it’s my sexual partners who fail to use them or they use them incorrectly.”

Truvata is the initial PrEP drug prescribed by Icelandic health authorities but there are some generic drugs available at a lower cost. Up until now, Truvata has been available to Icelanders as a PrEP treatment but only for the full price of 66,000 ISK for 30 tablets. But it wasn’t until 2016 that individuals in Iceland began seeking a PrEP treatment.

Our interviewee read up on PrEP on the internet and followed what was happening in the US and finally in Europe as well, in 2016, and saw a chance there. “I found a legal way to buy a generic PrEP drug, called Tenvir-EM from Cipla which I order from Dynamix International and get delivered from the UK. A three months’ supply costs about 107 USD with posting plus a 24% VAT added in Icelandic customs. So, end of year 2016 I went to the the Infectious Diseases Ward and was tested for HIV to be sure that I could start using PrEP. I received a confirmation in writing that I had been tested and would be monitored by health staff so I was able to order the medicine online and started taking it regularly. Every three months, I go there for consultation, to get tested for STDs and for a renewed confirmation for the customs,” he says.

“I was basically just tired of worrying all the time about getting infected by HIV and perhaps inadvertently infect others as well.”

His yearly cost of PrEP has so far been about 45.000 ISK, which is still cheaper than a one month´s dosage cost in Iceland before the drug was subsidised. Now of course, he can start getting a prescription for PrEP and have it subsidised by health authorities, which he hopes will be encouraging for others to start using it too. “It was a huge relief for me to start using PrEP. Sure, there are other sexually transmitted disease I have to be wary of but majority of them are curable. Not everybody is eligible for PrEP treatment but I am and it suits me very well and I’m really happy with the service and consultation I have received at the hospital.”

As was stated in Monday’s interview, all studies show a remarkable success of PrEP treatments. It is believed that out of over 300,000 people using PrEP, only three individuals have been infected by HIV. Daily usage of PrEP, in a controlled environment, reduced the risk of HIV infection by 92-99% or more. Bryndis Sigurdardottir, specialist at Landspitalinn, gave a presentation on the subject on the International HIV Day in Iceland last year, which can be watched here (only in Icelandic, courtesy of samkynhneigd.is):

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner


Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.



    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website: https://blush.is/

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.




        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
        comes from 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals—the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        - leading financial institution

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        - get inspired

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf


          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          - for all your Apple needs

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
          For all your Apple needs. We are here.

          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us

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