Would You Take The Morning-After HIV Pill?

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Well, would you?

Apparently, there’s a “morning-after HIV pill” and only a microcosm of humans are well-informed about its exclusive existence. Needless to say, we were totally jealous for being out of loop! Most importantly, by the time you finish reading this article, your ignorance of the treatment will no longer be and you’ll feel inclined to share this article on your social networks in order to start a necessary conversation. *This dialogue is needed and encouraged.

Well, what is it?


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It’s called “PEP”, a  shortened version for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis. Generally, it is any preventive medical treatment started immediately after exposure to a pathogen (such as a disease-causing virus), in order to prevent infection by the pathogen and the development of disease. When topic specific, as stated by

PEP involves taking anti-HIV drugs as soon as possible after you may have been exposed to HIV to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive. There are two types of PEP: (1) occupational PEP, (sometimes called “oPEP”), and (2) non-occupational PEP, (sometimes called “nPEP”).  Workplace exposure (oPEP) is when someone working in a health-care setting is potentially exposed to material infected with HIV.  nPEP is when someone is potentially exposed to HIV outside the workplace (e.g., condom breakage, sexual assault, etc.)

To be effective, PEP must begin within 72 hours of exposure, before the virus has time to rapidly replicate in your body. PEP consists of 2-3 antiretroviral medications and should be taken for 28 days. Your doctor will determine what treatment is right for you based on how you were exposed to HIV. The medications have serious side effects that can make it difficult to finish the program. PEP is not 100% effective; it does not guarantee that someone exposed to HIV will not become infected with HIV.

According to this New York Magazine article, “ACT UP, an acronym for the international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS, alleges that people seeking PEP often face unnecessary hurdles in ERs.” Without speculating or provided information without factual grounds, we’d advise you to read this entire article by Tim Murphy. He provides plenty of factual information and journalistic research.

We have only one suggestion as to why we were all bathing in ignorance:

It could be that it really works.

Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the Director of Content for Duke Concept; Bartee is an Entertainment Creator for Google Web Stories. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.