US: CDC launches ad campaign recommending HIV-preventative drugs

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The US Centre for Disease Control has launched a series of new adverts, promoting the availability of controversial new HIV-preventative drugs.

Last week, the US Centre for Disease Control updated its guidance, recommending Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) be used by anyone in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner, and by gay and bisexual men at risk of catching HIV.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by up to 90%, if preventative drugs such as Truvada are taken consistently.

The drugs are currently the subject of an experimental trial in the UK, with campaigners calling for them to eventually be available on the NHS.

The adverts state: “Never stop talking about testing, your status, condoms, and new options, like medicines that prevent and treat HIV.”

Last month the president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Michael Weinstein attracted criticism for labelling Truvada a ‘party drug’, claiming it would wrongly be seen as an alternative to condoms.

He also condemned the CDC’s move, saying in a statement: “This is a position I fear the CDC will come to regret.

“By recommending widespread use of PrEP for HIV prevention despite research studies amply chronicling the inability to take it as directed, and showing a limited preventive effect at best, the CDC has abandoned a science-driven, public health approach to disease prevention—a move that will likely have catastrophic consequences in the fight against AIDS in this country.”

Watch the adverts below: