AHF President Michael Weinstein Doubles Down on Truvada ‘Party Drug’ Claims


Last week we reported on calls for Michael Weinsten’s resignation amid furor over the AIDS Healthcare Foundation President’s criticism of HIV PReP drug Truvada.

Weinstein defended his remarks in an interview late last week with Buzzfeed:

“I’ve had debates on this subject, but these people are jumping to character assassination and I’m not going to respond to it,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest HIV/AIDS medical care provider in the U.S. “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,” he said. “They’re all associated with bareback porn, which kind of makes my point that it’s a party drug.”

Weinstein later elaborated on his opposition to the drug:

Weinstein also said numbers from Gilead Sciences (the maker of Truvada) show fewer than 1,800 people have been prescribed Truvada for prevention, saying, “More importantly, the physicians who treat gay men aren’t recommending it, otherwise more and more people would be on it. It’s been on the market for two years and it really hasn’t caught on.” With that said, Weinstein concedes “there’s no problem” if someone’s doctor thinks Truvada is appropriate for them, but said, “I still think that it’s Russian Roulette because of the adherence problem.”

Advocates are calling his remarks judgmental and  “a conversation stopper” when real dialogue about the drug’s efficacy is needed.