Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

Disclaimer: If you think you have been exposed to HIV, please talk to a health care provider about PEP as soon as possible (within 72 hours). Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is an emergency Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention method where individuals start a 28-day course medication within 72 hours of HIV exposure in order to prevent an infection….

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention method where HIV-negative individuals at risk of HIV infection take a daily medication before being exposed to the virus. “Pre-exposure” means before coming into contact and “prophylaxis” stands for preventative treatment.1 At the time this article was updated, only two medications, under the brand names Truvada® and Descovy®, have been approved by the U.S….

How to Tell Your Partner You Have an STI

Many people feel panicked or embarrassed after testing positive for a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Because STIs are a taboo topic in most societies, many people feel alone in their diagnosis. Luckily, as more people become educated about sexual health and as treatments continue to improve, the stigma around having an STI is on the…

HIV Testing

  What is OraQuick?                     Oraquick is the world’s first At-Home HIV HIVTest. After a long period of controversy concerning the morality of individuals having access to at-home HIV tests, the FDA finally approved Oraquick in 2012.¹ Its approval demonstrates that progress has been made towards the…

Psychological Issues Related to Herpes

Learning that one is diagnosed with Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), either oral or genital, can be a very emotional experience. A person may experience a variety of emotions, ranging from disbelief to anger, due to the stereotypes that surround sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the incurable nature of this specific disease.1 Genital herpes is a common…

Drug Treatments to Control Herpes

Transmission of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) often goes undetected. This is because HSV has an incubation period that can range from a few weeks to over a year. Most people infected with the virus discover their condition either from an initial outbreak or from the results of a blood test.1 The realization that a person is…

Oral Sex and STIs

Oral sex is a sexual activity that uses the mouth, lips, or tongue as a way to stimulate a partner.1 There are many reasons why individuals enjoy oral sex, and it is a much more common sexual activity than people are led to believe. In fact, a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more…

HIV Treatment

Treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) consists of taking a combination of medicines daily to suppress viral activity and slow the progression of the virus.1 HIV is classified as a retrovirus, a class of virus using RNA as genetic material and replicates through integrating to the host DNA. While there is no current cure for HIV, there is…

Could You Have an STI?

An important part of becoming sexually active is learning how to take care of your sexual health. Any unprotected sexual act including vaginal, anal, or oral sex can potentially result in the transmission of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) if one or both sexual partners is infected. Additionally, a pregnant individual can also pass on…