PEP is almost like the morning-after pill — except it fights HIV.
PEP is short for “post-exposure prophylaxis.” It’s a fancy name for a prescription that can block HIV after you’ve been exposed to the virus.
Sounds great, right? But if PEP can prevent an HIV infection, why doesn’t everybody take it every day?
Because you have to start taking PEP within three days of exposure to the virus. It doesn’t work after HIV has been in your blood more than 72 hours.
PrEP — short for pre-exposure prophylaxis — is a daily medication for people who are not living with HIV but who are at a high risk of getting it.
If you take PrEP every day, you can drastically reduce your chances of getting HIV. It’s a good choice if you’re:
• In a relationship with somebody who is living with HIV
• Having sex without a condom regularly
• Using injected drugs and sharing needles and works
PrEP is all about reducing your risk of getting HIV. Let’s dig deeper into how that happens:
Using a condom every time you have sex is a cornerstone of the Be Boss outlook.
Wait, what? Every time?
Yeah. Here’s why:
Bosses are leaders and managers. They have responsibilities — to themselves first but to everybody else, too. That includes sex partners.
Sex is supposed to feel good. Condoms have a reputation for messing with that: People say they feel strange and reduce the sensations that make sex so much fun in the first place.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Choosing the condom that works best for you and using it right can juice up your sex life.
A condom also takes a lot of the worry out of sex because it can prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Worry is the last thing you want when you’re getting down with that special somebody.
Here’s how to get rid of the worries and have the most fun with a condom:
You can be a superhero just by taking an HIV test.
Getting tested means you’re taking the first step toward keeping yourself healthy, protecting people you care about, and putting the brakes on a global epidemic.
That’s heroic stuff. It’s easy to do nothing and let somebody else worry about HIV. The Be Boss way is to grab HIV by the horns and deal with it.
In short, the answer is “yes.” You could have HIV in your blood for years and not have a clue. Your best friend could have it and you’d never know.
You could feel sick for a week, think it’s the flu, and not realize you have AIDS.
Seems crazy — everybody has heard about HIV and AIDS, right? But most people don’t know much more about the diseases, and there’s plenty of wrong ideas people have about them.
That’s why so many people pass HIV to others when they have sex or share needles. It’s not like they’re evil. They just don’t know.
It may sound strange, but check this out: There’s nothing to fear from HIV.
HIV is an example of a viral infection. You get colds and the flu from other viral infections, and nobody freaks out over them.
Don’t get us wrong: HIV is a dangerous infection if it’s not treated. It’s the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), which is a much more serious progression of the illness.
But today, we have medications to treat and control HIV, just like we do with diabetes and other common diseases. Sure, you probably can’t help being afraid of HIV at first. You may not know much about HIV, and everybody fears the unknown.
But once you know the facts on HIV, your fears start to drain away.
STI means sexually transmitted infection. Did you know HIV is a sexually transmitted infection?
You get an STI from having sex with somebody carrying a germ — usually a virus or bacteria — that causes the infection.
The good news is that you can protect yourself from these infections, and if you get an infection, you can get treatment.
We’ll break down some of the most common STIs (including their symptoms and treatments), how you can protect yourself, and how you can get tested for free.