LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to ongoing and inaccurate media coverage and reporting on AHF’s position on the use of Gilead Science’s AIDS treatment Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is releasing this statement to reiterate and clarify where AHF stands—and has stood—on PrEP.
Kindly Tell Us What Is Different Than What We’ve Said Before on PrEP?
“From the beginning, AHF’s position on PrEP has been mischaracterized and demonized as a ‘black or white’ position with many individuals, as well as media outlets, wrongly claiming that AHF was and is completely against PrEP. This is not—and has never been—true. There has always been far more nuance or ‘gray’ to AHF’s position on PrEP, something that may be harder—and less salacious—for reporters to write about. Our medical providers write prescriptions for PrEP. Our AHF Pharmacies fill prescriptions for PrEP. However…
- AHF has been, and remains OPPOSED to the widespread deployment of PrEP as a community-wide public health intervention, such as the CDC’s May 2014 recommendation that 500,000 high-risk Americans go on PrEP, or the WHO’s similar July 2014 endorsement of the widespread use of PrEP globally. This is NOT prudent public health policy, nor proper stewardship of limited resources. PrEP also requires adherence to the daily drug regimen, something that many key research studies on PrEP showed to be less than optimal in many of the very same high-risk groups targeted by the CDC and WHO.
- For high-risk individuals, who for whatever reasons may be unable or unwilling to use condoms, AHF has always advocated for PrEP to be prescribed on a case-by-case basis, a decision made between a medical provider and his or her patient. At the May 2012 FDA Advisory Hearing on Gilead’s application for use of Truvada as PrEP, we argued that any physician or provider could already prescribe the drug for use as PrEP ‘off label.’ AHF believes PrEP is only for the most at-risk individuals—and we are no less concerned about adherence to the drug regimen today than we have ever been.
It is ironic that in AHF’s effort to bridge the divide in understanding of our position on PrEP—when AHF’s efforts to delineate common ground through this latest ad—is met by some media outlets and certain members of the community with a desire to somehow portray AHF’s positions on PrEP as capitulation. If you mischaracterize AHF’s positions on PrEP all along, then when we restate them in a more conciliatory manner, can you honestly describe that as capitulation? Such a reaction seeks to divide people and groups into winners and losers.
We need to depart from this winner/losers mentality. This reaction shows just how much is wrong with the intellectual discourse in the AIDS community today. Can we not have an open, honest discussion? Perhaps these attitudes shed some light as to how and why 70% of the 1.2 million people already living with HIV/AIDS in this country today do not have their virus suppressed.
At the end of the day—and then as now—AHF sees PrEP is an individual option not a general solution.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 451,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.