Sunday, March 16, 2014

Truvada: the political pill

Perhaps it is not good form for one bioethics blog to refer to a discussion taking place on another bioethics blog, but this one is hard to resist. Truvada is an antiretroviral drug originally designed for treatment of HIV infection. But a few years ago, studies showed that use of the drug (as 'pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP) could help reduce the risk of getting HIV infected among serodiscordant couples, heterosexual men and women, injection drug users, and transgender women and men who have sex with men. The success -- even if it is only partial reduction of risk dependent on appropriate use -- prompted the approval of Truvada for HIV prevention by the FDA and swift action by influential US and international health bodies, such as the World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who have released interim guidance on PrEP use.

So what is going on at the Hastings Forum about this? A provocative piece by Richard Weinmeyer entitled "Truvada: No Substitute for Responsible Sex" expresses deep concerns about the use of Truvada by members of the gay community: a 'prevention pill' will lead to reduction of condom use, further spread of HIV, and an erosion of sexual responsibility among gay men that was already happening due to the discovery of effective treatment and the transformation of HIV (in some settings, at least) into a more or less manageable chronic condition. Why, the author opines, can't gay men just use condoms? The choice for Truvada is (he goes on) a choice for personal pleasure above concern for other persons, and should not be condoned. This is technology in service of irresponsibility. And if gay men are not using condoms consistently (he goes on), then they are not likely to use Truvada consistently either. The argument sounds a bit like: you can't give gay men good things.

It is not clear why he singles out gay men (not the only population Truvada might benefit) or why a tool to help in the struggle against HIV/AIDS is trashed before it even gets out the box. That's the thing: Truvada has been approved for use as HIV prevention but has hardly been flying off pharmacy shelves. The allegedly reckless gay community looking for the 'new condom in pill form' haven't showed up. The reasons behind the lukewarm embrace are multiple, including cost issues, lack of an advocacy base and the suspicion that PrEP is just a way of benefiting pharmaceutical companies. In any case, it is worth going over to visit the Hastings Forum and watching the sparks fly.


Labels: , , , ,

3 Comments:

Blogger devil jiang said...

And who uttered those fine phrases fendi outlet? Well, that would be Dion's old buddy, Marty Armstrong rolex submariner replica. But read it quick. These things have a way of disappearing into replica gucci the electronic ether.

Noted with interest II: David Friedland's other replica belts job is president of the Hedge Fund Association. Founder prada replica: Dion Friedland. Executive director: Lara Block (sister of David). NakedShorts recommends the site's public message boards http://www.dibaq.com/read.html for its dozens of informed and on-topic posts. If your topics are, among others, Canadian pharmaceuticals louis vuitton outlet, replica watches and an appropriately diversified range of recreational replica handbags activities.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Majid Vijah said...


Are you a business man or woman? You are in financial difficulty or need funds to start your own business?nDo you need a loan to pay debts or to pay your bills?nYou have bad credit and have difficulty obtaining capital loan from local banks / other financial institutions?nYou need a loan for any reason, asna) Personal Loan, Business Expansion,nb) Business Creation, Education,nc) Debt Consolidationnd) Hard Money LoansnWe offer loans to individuals and companies at an interest rate of 2%, our services are fast and affordable, you can contact us via E-mail,(arabfinancialcorporation@yahoo.com.sg).

4:20 AM  
Blogger Mirna R. Smith said...

Keep in mind for taking your hottest gain stub or presumably proof of earnings whereas your driver’s enable or presumably discuss I .D .. just at North American country of America advance, obtaining the greenbacks you will have goes to be all of our prime priority. several people accomplish all of our greatest to assist to form your home mortgage understanding check cashing corona comprehensive terribly advantageous, Most {of North American country of America|folks|people} would love wish you to repeatedly sought for U.S.A. all on the short term borrowing needs.

11:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home