AHF: Gilead Premieres HIV PrEP Party Drug Ad

In what looks to be the first direct-to-consumer drug advertising
directly funded by Gilead Sciences for use of its AIDS treatment,
Truvada, as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection in
non-infected individuals, Gilead paid for an ad that violates FDA
guidelines for PrEP by promoting off-label use of the drug by
encouraging situational PrEP use for those who “
like to party.”

Since April 2014, AHF President Michael Weinstein has been harshly
criticized by the gay and AIDS communities after Weinstein was
prophetically quoted in an AP article calling PrEP a “
party
drug.”

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In what looks to be the first direct-to-consumer drug advertising paid
for by Gilead
Sciences, Inc.
for use of its AIDS treatment, Truvada,
as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection in
non-infected individuals, Gilead has paid for an ad that violates Food
and Drug Administration (FDA)
guidelines for PrEP by promoting
off-label use of the drug by encouraging situational PrEP use for those
who like to party.”

A November 8, 2015 news article on Australia’s ‘Gay News Network’ titled “New
US PrEP Ads Target Men Who Like to Party,”
appears to promote
situational—rather than daily—use of Truvada for PrEP for
men who enjoy recreational sex and drug use but do not test regularly
for HIV.”
The article also noted, “The campaign is supported by
Gilead Sciences, manufacturer of Truvada.”
The TV ad, titled “I
Like to Party,”
includes a slate at the end of the spot reading: “Supported
by funding from Gilead Sciences.”
The ad also credits Public
Health Solutions
, a New York City-based non-profit and Connected
Health Solutions
, a Brooklyn-based “organizational development
consultancy” on the slate at the end of the ad.

Gilead’s Truvada was first approved for treatment of HIV/AIDS patients
in August 2004. The FDA formally approved use of Truvada as PrEP on July
16, 2012. Guidelines issued by the FDA for PrEP for individuals include
1) an initial baseline negative HIV test; 2) daily adherence to the
Truvada medication; 3) ongoing periodic HIV testing to ensure the
individual on PrEP remains HIV-negative; and 4) continued use of other
prevention methods, such as condoms.

It now appears AHF President Michael Weinstein made a prophetic comment
to an Associated Press reporter in April
2014
when he offhandedly referred to PrEP as a “… party
drug.” Since then, both he and AHF have been repeatedly and harshly
criticized by the gay and AIDS communities for the observation, while
Gilead itself now funds and promotes party use of Truvada as PrEP in
violation of the law and FDA regulation.

“When I referred to PrEP as a party drug two years ago, it created a
nationwide scandal. Now Gilead—in what looks to be its first official
paid advertising for Truvada as PrEP—explicitly promotes PrEP as a party
drug for situational use in direct violation of FDA regulations. This is
illegal and we will seek to hold them accountable for their
irresponsible and illegal advertising,” said Michael Weinstein,
President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has criticized and
cautioned against the widespread deployment of PrEP as a community-wide
public health strategy, such as the CDC’s recommendation that 1.2
million individuals go on PrEP, but supports its use on a case-by-case
basis decided upon between a medical provider and his or her patient.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
500,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Communications
+1.323.308.1833
work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Christopher
Johnson,
Communications
+1.323.960.4846 work
+1.310.886.9913
mobile
christopher.johnson@aidshealth.org