Legendary AIDS Activists: End PrEP Profiteering

Last night a group of noted AIDS activists including Peter Staley and Larry Kramer met in the very apartment where the Gay Men’s Health Crisis was formed 33 years ago to denounce the “abusive pricing” and “profiteering” which continues to put cost of PrEP beyond the means of much of the world. The group has issued a statement:

We – AIDS activists, new and old, aged 24 to 80 – have just broken bread in the same apartment where GMHC was formed, coming together for a lively discussion on how to reduce HIV infections among gay men and trans women. Although we may not see eye-to-eye on every issue we debated tonight, we all agree that Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective at protecting a person from HIV infection. While PrEP isn’t for everyone, any individual who thinks they are at risk of getting HIV should have easy access to it, without judgement.

We are fed up with Gilead’s abusive pricing of its near monopolies in drugs that treat and prevent HIV. Truvada as PrEP was not their idea, and came to market based on research they didn’t pay for. Gilead’s PrEP profiteering must end. Full access to lifesaving drugs has been a hallmark of our movement, and we will join with AIDS activists across America and around the world to double-down on this push for health equity.

PrEP, along with condoms, TasP (Treatment as Prevention), and better access to healthcare, are now essential public health tools in lowering HIV infections among gay men and trans women. We must use every tool necessary to help them – and to help all those at risk – stop this virus, once and for all. ACT UP, Fight Back, Fight AIDS. – Larry Kramer, Jim Eigo, Matt Ebert, James Krellenstein, and Peter Staley.

While most private insurance plans now cover PrEP, for those without insurance the annual cost of Truvada can run from $8000 to $14,000.

(Photo via Peter Staley)