The debate over pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) drugs for those at a high risk of contracting HIV has never been more divisive in the AIDS community.
Recently, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a complaint with the federal government over a web commercial from drug maker Gilead Health Services. The ad, titled “I like to party,” appears to encourage sexually active gay men to take the drug Truvada to prevent HIV, according to a Buzzfeed report.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation argues that this is a violation of the terms under which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the durg, and called on the feds to stop the ad. The ad features porn actor J.D. Phoenix saying to the camera that some gay men have lots of sex and “like to party.” He is shown grabbing a bag of pills before heading to the nightclub.
But this approach by the foundation is earning ire from a number of AIDS activists and health care experts, who say that the complaint is spurious, and actually undercuts important AIDS education, according to the report.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation can reach 570,000 patients worldwide, so this is no small squabble. Truvada has long been a controversial subject in the LGBT community after it was approved for use as a PrEP in 2012. It has been shown to be up to 92 percent in preventing new HIV infections if taken every day, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that one out of every four gay men take the drug.
But the AIDS Healthcare Foundation continues to critcize PrEP. Critics say the foundation is against PrEP because it is against sexual promiscuity, but it appears to be putting moralizing over public health needs.