There's a HIV morning-after pill? JUL 03 2013
Yes, and there's also $20 over-the-counter test for HIV that gives results in 20 minutes.
Two recent developments could make these conversations less awkward, or even render them moot. But they also raise troubling questions about promiscuity and responsibility that are reminiscent of debates from the 1980s.
The first development was the approval, last summer, by the Food and Drug Administration of an over-the-counter rapid-response at-home H.I.V. test kit. The test, called OraQuick and available nationwide since October, gives results 20 minutes after a cheek swab. The second is the increasing availability of PEP and of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.
PEP - the medication I am taking - has been called the H.I.V. morning-after pill, and PrEP, to follow the analogy, is akin to birth control. A study in the British medical journal The Lancet this month found that drug-injecting addicts who took PrEP were half as likely to become infected with H.I.V. as those who did not; other studies have shown that the drug reduces transmission of the virus from mother to child, and transmission among both gay men and heterosexuals.