Heather Boerner

Heather Boerner

Journalist and Author

Heather Boerner is an award-winning journalist who specializes in storytelling on healthcare issues. She's most interested in how people choose between equally important needs.

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nj.com

State of Prevention: N.J. women participate in trial looking at new ways to prevent HIV

Forty-six-year-old Oshay was making breakfast in her Newark kitchen in May 2013 when her boyfriend came downstairs and dropped a bomb.

“I have HIV,” he told her.

Her first reaction was, “It can’t be.” After all, the couple had been together for a decade.

They’d had sex without condoms lots of times. After the shock wore off, she said she headed to the closest hospital for a rapid HIV test.

The result? Negative.

Oshay is one of 25 women in Newark who so far have participated in research into the prevention approach, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The hope is that it can prevent the HIV-negative people from getting the virus that leads to AIDS as well as — or better — than condoms.