HRC backs use of HIV-prevention drug Truvada

Mon. October 20, 2014 9:22 AM by

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Saturday endorsed the use of Truvada to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.

The nation's largest LGBT rights advocate released a policy paper in which it called the treatment known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, "a critically important tool" in combating HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

"HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects members of the LGBT community, and despite nearly 30 years of research, there are still 50,000 new cases of HIV each year, two-thirds of which are among gay and bisexual men," the group said. "In addition, transgender women are also at high risk of contracting HIV."

"HRC does not take this position lightly. We recognize there is still ongoing debate ...and that there are those out there who will disagree with out stance."

Critics have argued that it's too early to embrace Truvada as a prevention drug, noting its possible toxic side effects and high price tag of up to $1,000 a month for the uninsured. Others worry that the once-a-day pill will encourage risky sexual behavior.

HRC also called on insurers to increase coverage for the drug.

"Today, there is an unprecedented chance to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, in part through PrEP's aggressive prevention of new HIV infections," HRC President Chad Griffin said. "There is no reason – medical or otherwise – to discourage individuals from taking control of their sexual health and talking to their doctor about PrEP."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine