AHF President Michael Weinstein Spurs Outrage with Remarks on Truvada: 'It's A Party Drug'
Slowly but steadily Truvada as PrEP is gaining awareness and acceptance as a valid method for preventing HIV transmission. The drug's reputation is not without its problems, however, including no small number of myths and misinformation that routinely have to be debunked. Adding to the opposition of the drug's uptake is AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein.
Said Weinstein of the drug:
If something comes along that's better than condoms, I'm all for it, but Truvada is not that. Let's be honest: It's a party drug.
Weinstein received immediate public backlash and condemnation for the remarks.
Mr. L.A. Leather Eric Paul Leue pulled no punches on his Facebook page (some content hidden depending on privacy settings),
I speak out against Weinstein's ignorant form of speech that is attacking our LGBT community and those that are aware[...]He disgraces those that are actively seeking protection, awareness and knowledge by literally calling them drug addicts.
Adult video producer Michael Lucas called for Weinstein's removal as AHF president:
In this man’s prurient imagination, gays are too busy enjoying their bareback orgies to be trusted with taking a once-daily pill. In his view, gay men using PrEP will stir up a frothy new drug-resistant strain of the virus. What evidence exists that this is a valid scientific concern? None. He has not even credited the fact that this form of prevention might and is being used by responsible gay men regardless of the sexual activity they are engaged in. Mr. Weinstein’s anti-PrEP position is an extension of his long-standing anti-promiscuity crusade and more importantly his continuation of harmful shame tactics.
The facts are that Truvada is estimated to be over 99% effective when taken properly. Additionally, the fear that Truvada will encourage riskier behavior is not founded in fact; men are already having condomless sex regardless of the availability of PrEP, and during the iPrEX studies prior to FDA approval there was no increase in risky behavior between the men who thought they were on PrEP versus those who thought they were on the placebo.