I first learned about pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV infection (PrEP) a few years ago at an information desk squeezed between colorful booths at a Pride parade. My son was 13, and it felt like I still had plenty of time to learn what I needed as a straight mother to a gay child.

But time moves forward much faster than we anticipate, and recently I found myself reaching out to experts to learn more about HIV prevention in order to educate myself and my child.

The current HIV risk in the U.S.

There are about 1.2 million Americans living with HIV (12.6 per 100,000 people), although it's estimated another 13 percent remain undiagnosed. The populations that have the highest percentage of HIV are Black and brown people, men who have sex with men (MSM) and people living in the South.

My son falls into all of these categories.

In 2019, there were 34,800 new HIV infections, an 8 percent decrease from 2015. Much of this good news is because of a 33 percent decrease in infection among 13- to 24-