It would be insane NOT to realize how insane some of these items in the 3 Crazies In the HIV World list for 2014. From a leader of the largest HIV organization to why one drug company is letting activists battle it out in the streets– it’s all covered in imstilljosh.com’s “3 Crazies In the HIV World” List.
#1- Views of Michael Weinstein
Weinstein is the President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest HIV service organization in the world. But as the journalist I hired for the LGBT PrEP Guide for HIV Prevention, David Heitz, reports: ” Today, Weinstein oversees a $750 million budget.”
There are numerous example of this “crazy” but again, in the LGBT PrEP Guide, he almost jokes about knowing how crazy he is at times in terms of his decision:
“Weinstein believes condoms are the best choice for preventing HIV. Period. “At the end of the day, this is not ideological, it’s about the data,” Weinstein said. “The data does not support this as a successful strategy.”
He said he recently had someone tell him he sounds like a mother telling their child to wear a raincoat. He took it as a badge of honor. “What happens when fogys like me stop talking? There’s an element in the gay community that’s really reckless.”
Although an entire generation of gay men have chosen to never have bareback sex due to HIV, Weinstein admits he hails from a pre-condom era.“If every gay man took (Truvada), it would be a huge windfall for (Gilead), but the changes in culture would be catastrophic. I’m old enough to remember when people popped penicillin before a night on the town.””
#2 – GILEAD’s Decision to Hold off Advertising PrEP
I may be blind to that facts on this one– but it seems to me, that if one had a pill that one believed could literally almost guarantee HIV prevention if used accurately and without fail, AND one had the approval of the FDA (stamp and all!), that one would be so inclined to advertise the HELL out of that pill. Right?
Instead, many activists and ASOs are the ones taking the front-line attacks from naysayers over the “yes” or “no” on the entire issue of HIV PrEP: Truvada. Where is the national ad campaign? The national marketing materials that other drugs/pills often get to help education and spread the word of the possible solution? I really find that Gilead not advertising or highly marketing “PrEP” as what it is: the only FDA approved, FDA-tested prevention tool in the arsenal kit for men that have sex with men (anal sex) to be very interesting and a bit confusing. Why are they letting activists take the heat on this one? Lead, baby… I mean– you’re getting the paychecks, not us!
#3 – Condoms aren’t approved for anal sex? Are you freaking kidding me???
Either I’ve been asleep in the reality of HIV prevention, or this really is a dumb-ass fact: That gay men have been told, asked, pressured and made to use a condom designed for vaginal sex– that isn’t FDA approved for anal sex– the type of sex that gay men usually participate, I’d assume. It’s probably why I hardly (if ever) see a condom advertisements made and/or paid for by condom manufacturers that is geared towards gay men. I mean — have you seen a gay condom advertisement? And if gay men make up the above 50% of new HIV infections, and condoms are the solution– why wouldn’t a condom manufacturer want to advertise towards a niche market? Whats the secret here? And do you know something that we don’t know? (I’m just asking the questions– so don’t crucify me. ) But, until we are willing to start answering questions like: Is it possible that a condom without lube is actually what irritates the anal canal, so when the condom comes off — that it is the perfect HIV storm? Not saying it is– just saying we have to be open to finding out these answers. It was just assumed that safe sex is “safer.” Are we sure? And is PrEP a better HIV-prevention tool? Or why won’t the FDA approve a condom for anal sex? I’m just saying.
Ok… So who did I miss?