Jonathan Higbee's picture

President Of Largest HIV/AIDS Foundation In U.S. Stands By Labeling Truvada A "Party Drug"

A petition expressing outrage over the head of the largest HIV/AIDS foundation shaming the use of Truvada by HIV-negative gay men who wish to remain that way has done little to phase the person in question. Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has defended his comments labeling Truvada a "party drug" in an interview published by BuzzFeed on Friday. 

The shaky ground Weinstein's standing on first shattered in early April. "If something comes along that's better than condoms, I'm all for it, but Truvada is not that," he said a few weeks ago. "Let's be honest: It's a party drug."

An authority figure in the fight against HIV/AIDS reducing a preventative medication that has a success rate of more than 90 percent keeping sexually active gay men HIV-negative didn't go over so well, as one might imagine. Andrew Sullivan articulately slammed everything wrong with Weinstein's statements, and a petition calling for his resignation from AHF soon followed. 

None of the blowback has budged Weinstein, according to his latest remarks. 

“I’ve had debates on this subject, but these people are jumping to character assassination and I’m not going to respond to it,” he tells BuzzFeed. “My record and the record of AHF speaks for itself.”

“In the last few days in terms of the people who have been yelling the loudest about this, they’ve all been associated with bareback porn,” Weinstein added. “They’re all associated with bareback porn, which kind of makes my point that it’s a party drug.”

When asked why Weinstein is quick to discount a medication that prevents HIV infection, he explains it's because he doesn't trust gay men to be responsible. 

“The primary issue with Truvada is that in the perfect world if people took it every day they would be protected, but that is not the case,” he said. “I read over and over again articles talking about how it’s more than 90% effective and they don’t even mention the adherence issue. PrEP is just not 90%-plus effective in the real world. It’s just not ready for prime time as a public health strategy.”

So, not only is Weinstein calling sexually active HIV-neg gay men whores, he's calling them irresponsible whores.

Andrew Sullivan again:

Can gay men be relied upon to take a pill once a day? Please. Why would they be regarded as less capable of protecting themselves than millions of women? And the cost we have already incurred by not aggressively promoting this drug as a preventative is huge. I wrote about this option as far back as 2006, when it first appeared on the horizon. 400,000 people have been infected since then. Back in 2010, in a thread called “A Massive HIV Breakthrough“, I noted that the trials concluded that the pill was more than 90 percent effective. Truvada was subsequently approved by the FDA in 2012 and continued to have high rates of success in clinical trials.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, an HIV specialist and board member at NYC's Gay Mens Health Crisis, is worried about the effect of Weinstein's comments. 

“I don’t see it as a party drug at all," Daskalakis said. “The guys I’m giving Truvada to and some women, have a lot of good reasons to take it. If being in a sexual relationship with someone who is HIV-positive is a party, then Truvada is a party drug.”

(Source: BuzzFeed)

 

 

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When did he call NEG guys "whores" or "irresponsible"? It's not cost effect for most so STOP trying to compare to a flintstone vitamin! These type of sensationalized stories is why I canceled my subscription. Please don't try to make a story 

I completely agree with "SRP's" comment...this is only another lobby strategy from pharmaceutic industry to sell out...a good sense and responsible behaviour approach will be more effective!...

I saw an article where this shit smeared asked "can gay men be relied upon to take a pill daily", I'd like to fire back "Can gay men be relied to take 12+ pills a day? Fuck yes we can you narrow mind piece of shit. Those 12+ pills are keeping me alive. If there is a pill to prevent this shit from happening then you know they'll take it. It's no fucking different from gym bunnies shoveling pills and whey protein drinks down their throats". It's a shame this disgusting closed minded waste of cum is in a position of power within the Aides community. His mom should've swallowed

Outreach Suppliers attempts to remain neutral on issues such as these, however this time we have an opinion. When the cost of Truvada is the same as a condom (5 cents) and the side effects are the same as a condom (no side affects) then why debate common sense. There has never been a magic pill to prevent HIV so let's not create a false sense of security for anyone. Am I biased, perhaps, but I am old enough to remember AZT and all the promises and false hopes given to people at that time and throughout the past 25 years. If condoms were being used over the past 25yrs the rate of infection would have been going down and not increasing. The real cure for HIV/STD infection is common sense and responsible behavior. There is little to debate, both sides have a valid argument. The question you need to ask is what gives you the greatest amount of protection and we believe the answer is your own responsible behavior when engaging is sexual practices.

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