Writing for the New York Times, Donald McNeil speculates that the use of Truvada as an HIV preventive might trigger a new “sexual revolution.” The piece begins:
Pretend it’s 1960, and the Food and Drug Administration has just done something startling. It has taken a drug it had previously approved for infertility — brand name Enovid — and approved it for the opposite use: birth control. That pill — soon simply the Pill — triggered the sexual revolution. But not overnight. Doctors at first resisted giving it to unmarried women. Women were shy about carrying evidence that they actually planned to have sex. Pioneering feminists like Margaret Sanger and Katharine D. McCormick braved vilification to champion it.
Madison Avenue chimed in: Ads featured Andromeda, the princess of Greek mythology, nude and breaking free of her chains. Some of the dire predictions of moralists did come true: Gonorrhea rates among women rose. Side effects like blood clots emerged. But the revolution stuck. For gay men — not to mention millions of Africans, drug users and others at risk for contracting H.I.V. — the world is again at such a moment. The F.D.A. has taken a drug — Truvada — that was approved for H.I.V. treatment in 2004, and approved it for prevention, a use called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.