July 29, 2011
The release of data from the iPrEx study of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention in gay and bisexual men and transgender women has led to a good deal of debate about whether and how PrEP should be used. Unfortunately, some of that debate has been fueled by misrepresentations of the study data and, perhaps more alarmingly, by groundless assertions that gay/bi men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) will misuse PrEP, spread drug resistance and act without regard to their health or the health of others if PrEP is made available. A paid ad campaign by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation running in gay papers across the country has contributed to spreading false ideas both about PrEP and about the commitment of gay/bi men to care for themselves and others. We reject those false assertions and want a full and factual discussion of the pros and cons of PrEP in our community.
Recently, two additional studies, Partners PrEP and the CDC's TDF2 study have confirmed the safety and efficacy of PrEP, this time in heterosexual women and men.
A small group of HIV positive gay/bi men who are committed to promoting safer sex and the open exchange of accurate information are circulating the following letter to help clarify the facts about PrEP, open up community discussion and make clear our belief that we are entitled to respect, accurate information and new HIV prevention tools.
This sign-on letter is part of a broad array of advocacy activities being undertaken by the national PrEP Committee. Members of the PrEP Committee include individuals from a host of organizations working on PrEP and other new prevention technologies who meet regularly by phone and email to share information and strategize. For allies who are not HIV+ gay/bi men, you can learn more about this work and how to participate by sending an email to Jim Pickett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage HIV+ gay/bi men who are allied in the fight against AIDS to help us clear the record about PrEP by signing on to this letter.