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….

Scabies

Classical scabies is a parasitic infection that is caused by the presence of mites on the skin. The microscopic human itch mites burrow shallow tunnels into the upper layer of the skin.1 The human itch mite is an eight-legged bug that is less that 1mm large, and is nearly impossible to view without a microscope.3 The mites…

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…

A Timeline of HIV/AIDS

*This timeline primarily focuses on the AIDS epidemic as it was in the United States. For details on the origin of HIV/AIDS, click here. 1981 A cluster of patients in the United States are reported with a rare lung infection, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, and a rare type of cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma. These conditions are usually…

The Origin of HIV/AIDS

The Origin of HIV/AIDS In 1981, the first reported cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) came to light in the United States. After many years of research into this new disease, scientists discovered human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and found evidence that this virus led to AIDS.1 While a novel popularized one man, Patient Zero,…

Risks of HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa

Overview Since the onset of the AIDS virus, Sub-Saharan Africa has been amongst the highest percentage of HIV-positive inhabitants in the entire world. Seventy percent of people living with HIV are believed to be in Sub-Saharan Africa.1 One can assume that the sexual practices of those living within Southern Africa have had to adapt to avoid…

HIV Testing

What is OraQuick?                     Oraquick is the world’s first At-Home HIV Test. 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 gradual…

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…