Debate is escalating over Truvada, a cutting-edge medication that helps prevent HIV in healthy people and helps prevent AIDS in those who are exposed, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The drug, a pre-exposure prophylaxis, or “PrEP,” was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and can block the enzyme that breeds the virus, if taken daily.
Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to make New York the first U.S. state to include Truvada in a major public-health initiative. But some HIV activist groups are warning Truvada’s negative side effects: They say the medication would give people a false sense of protection and discourage condom use, facilitating the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
“We’re asking people who are negative, young and who may be dabbling in recreational drugs to take this every day? It’s Russian roulette,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation
But supporters of the bill argue that condom use, although advocated for decades, has never had total compliance and that the addition of the pill will help.
Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat, compared the governor’s plan to his advocacy for same-sex marriage: “ahead of the curve.”