Gay Viagra Use Fueling AIDS Health Official Says

Tue. August 24, 2004 12:00 AM by

San Francisco, California - The recreational use of Viagra among gay men not only promotes unsafe sex and is helping to fuel rising rates of HIV/AIDS but also can lead to other physical problems which can allow the disease to enter the body more easily San Francisco's Department of Public Health said Monday.

The Department wants the federal government to force the maker of Viagra, Pfizer, to place a warning on the drug's labels.

The Department of Public Health has formally petitioned the FDA to reevaluate Viagra usage and safety.

Jeffrey Klausner, director of sexually transmitted disease prevention in San Francisco said that because of the increased duration of erection there is increased blood flow which can increase the physical risk of getting an STD or HIV.

San Francisco's Stop AIDS Project, one of the largest AIDS awareness programs in the country, says that one of every three gay men its staff interviewed on the street said they used Viagra.

The drug, meant to combat impotency has become a popular party drug in most major cities.

In the past few years the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men has increased dramatically.

Pfizer, the drug's manufacturer, said it would oppose any change in labeling.

Last year Pfizer had sales of $1.9 billion for Viagra.

by Mary Ellen Peterson Newscenter
San Francisco Bureau
©® 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.