The AIDS Healthcare Foundation today announced that it has placed full-page anti-PrEP ads in gay newspapers all over the country. The full ad is below. They write:
A new advocacy ad by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) takes aim at the failure of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use of Gilead Sciences’ AIDS treatment Truvada to prevent HIV transmission in uninfected individuals, to catch on despite the fact that the powerful AIDS treatment medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as PrEP since July 2012 and that Gilead has spent millions to promote the drug directly to community groups and physicians.
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initially recommended that 500,000 gay men and other high risk individuals go on PrEP to prevent HIV infection. In late November of this year, the CDC raised that number to 1.2 million in November to also include other “high risk” people including intravenous drug users and heterosexual adults without HIV who have an HIV-positive partner or have multiple sexual partners. Today, only 21,000 people are currently on PrEP in the United States, according to Dr. Jonathan Mermin, the CDC’s Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP).
AHF’s “PrEP: The Revolution that Didn’t Happen”, ad also calls out the CDC for directing funding away from proven STD/HIV prevention and treatment methods: “The failure of PrEP to catch on isn’t the biggest problem. The big problem is that CDC has abandoned promoting other prevention methods such as condoms. STD rates, which indicate high levels of unprotected sex, are soaring across the board and yet budgets for the diagnosis and treatment of STDs are being cut. Funding for HIV testing, outreach and linkage to care are flat or declining.”