Op-Ed: HIV Prevention pill fearmongers are risking lives

Dec 4, 2014
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Truvada prevents people from getting sick — and doesn’t encourage dangerous behavior

Thirty years ago, there were New Yorkers who didn’t expect to live to today. If the history of the HIV and AIDS epidemic has taught us anything, it’s that life begins the moment we stop being afraid.

But for those seeking out PrEP — a new HIV-prevention pill — fear tactics are still blocking the way. Misleading new ads from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation running in New York and across the country are scaring at-risk people from using PrEP, also known as Truvada, and could lead to new infections.

GHMC

Since the height of the crisis, HIV and AIDS advocates have heard opinions that invoke public fear and demonize those affected by the epidemic.

The new ads raise a whole new level of concern.

As the studies cited by the Foundation’s own ads have shown Truvada is a potentially life-saving pill that, when taken daily, is over 90% effective in preventing HIV infections in HIV-negative individuals. Like birth control or numerous other medications, daily adherence to PrEP greatly improves its effectiveness.

But rather than promote its proper use, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is warning at-risk people against using PrEP as an HIV-prevention method altogether. In doing so, the Foundation is relying on the same fear tactics that once spread panic and misinformation when the disease first emerged.

There have been 50,000 new HIV infections every single year in the United States over the past decade, and current methods have not reduced that number. PrEP offers us a new and potentially powerful tool to prevent new infections, which is key to eliminating this epidemic once and for all.

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Op-Ed: HIV Prevention pill fearmongers are risking lives | Adult WIkiMedia
5 years ago

[…] But rather than promote its proper use, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is warning at-risk people against using PrEP as an HIV-prevention method altogether. In …read more       […]

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[…] Since the …read more […]

Don Houston
5 years ago

I’ve read much of the research and have far more mixed feelings than y’all do about this. An underlying premise of the comparison is that 1) people are going to faithfully take the drug without missing a dose, 2) the testing mostly involved monogamous partners having modest amounts of sex, and 3) that condoms are still supposed to be used according to the medicine’s instructions. That the cost is something akin to $15000 a year is another kicker, the statistics for real world use nothing close to 99% protection (though that is what people are going to read and rely… Read more »

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