What’s the Latest?
There is now a preventative treatment against HIV for those exposed to higher-than-normal levels of risk, such as individuals with HIV-positive partners or those who inject illicit drugs and share equipment. To promote the use of the medication, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will introduce pilot programs in four cities–Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, and Newark–that have “federally qualified health centers in areas with high HIV rates.” The pill, called Truvada, was created by California-based pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences.
What’s the Big Idea?
While the pill seems to have only positive qualities, it is surprisingly controversial among those who would be most affected by its use. Last year, the pill generated more than $3.1 billion in sales, yet the cost of the drug is a main deterrent for those looking to take it. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, “a Los Angeles-based nonprofit group that provides medical care to more than 300,000 patients, said they oppose the recommendation. The group said it could lead to a decline in use of condoms, which can prevent the spread of other sexually transmitted diseases.”