WeHo City Council Is Asked to Take a Stand on Controversial HIV Prevention Drug

The City of West Hollywood is being asked to take a stand on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a controversial approach to HIV prevention.

Truvada
Truvada

The city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board has recommended that West Hollywood require social services agencies with which it has contracts or collaborates to offer HIV testing to provide information about PrEP. The city’s Department of Human Services and Rent Stabilization will ask the Council to send the matter to the Human Services Commission so that it can draft a policy.

The Human Services Department recommendation notes that the city will have to figure out how to include such a mandatory requirement in existing social services contracts, and it notes that L.A. County already is considering a similar move. Many of the agencies with which West Hollywood contracts for HIV testing services work under contracts with Los Angeles County. The county Board of Supervisors last week passed a resolution ” to develop and implement a plan for a “robust, comprehensive program to deliver Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) throughout the County, considering a broad range of medical providers, including the Departments of Public Health and Health Services’ operated clinics as well as community based organizations and clinics, that can effectively provide PrEP to those at high risk for contracting HIV.”

The proposal before the Council doesn’t note that PrEP is the subject of a major debate among gay activists and health care providers. On the one side are organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and the L.A. LGBT Center, which support making Truvada, the medication prescribed as part of the PrEP regimen, more widely available. The Centers for Disease Control also has endorsed PrEP for those at significant risk of contracting HiV because they don’t regularly use condoms, use illicit drugs or are in intimate relationships with HIV positive people. It stresses that PrEP must be combined with consistent use of condoms.

On the other side is AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the world’s largest non-governmental HIV/AIDS service organization, which has said that promoting PrEP will lead a reduction in condom use and thus a higher incidence of other sexually transmitted diseases and that there is evidence that some people on PrEP don’t carefully follow the regimen that requires them to take the Truvada pill daily. Others who have questioned PrEP include Regan Hofmann, an HIV-positive woman who is the former editor of Poz. Hoffman called Truvada, which costs $13,000 a year and is manufactured by Gilead, a  “profit-driven sex toy for rich Westerners.” Dan Savage, the gay columnist, also has questioned whether gay men will use the drug consistently.

The Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.


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Randy
Guest
Randy

Lucas, you are correct. Its about providing information for another option for prevention, which a lot of people don’t know about. I’ve been on PrEP for almost 2 years, and still can’t believe how many people are unaware of it, or how it works.

For those seeking INFORMATION (not a debate, or to post judgments about use of the medication), I strongly encourage people to join this Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrEPFacts/

Lucas John (@MrLucasJohn)
Guest

I am proud of LGAB for unanimously supporting this item & I appreciate the council’s unanimous support. I don’t think the city is taking a stand on PrEP it’s just stimulating public awareness for an HIV prevention option.

Chloe Ross
Guest

This what I read in the 1st paragraph: “The city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board has recommended that West Hollywood require social services agencies with which it has contracts or collaborates to offer HIV testing to provide information about PrEP.” Providing information about a medication to anyone should be something any doctor or health care worker seems a given. As in: “Wow! That’s a lot. You are risking an STD – here is information about it and we recommend condoms – the best ones so far are XXXXX. “Wow! Another one?” Yes, indeed. You are pregnant. To insure a healthy… Read more »

JE
Guest
JE

@ramorey If you’ve actually consulted with a doctor about Prep, you’d understand that they require testing every three months to ensure someone on it doesn’t contract HIV and create a resistant virus. They also test for all other STDs and require a check-in with the doctor about sexual choices, so people on Prep, like myself, actually have a much clearer idea of our risk and our current status across the board. I use Prep because like most people I know, I’ve made mistakes. I’m not proud of them and I like to avoid them, but it happens. I’d rather be… Read more »

Jim Chud
Guest
Jim Chud

When someone like Emily Newman, the creator of a marketplace on line for second hand wedding gowns – giving both the original user to recoup some of their investment and newly engaged to save a bundle on a second hand gown. I guess that makes her a qualified expert on the subject of AIDS medications and drug resistance. REALLY?????? As someone who has taken Truvada since its introduction as part of my medication regimen, and an employee of the LA County Department of Health Services, I can say with confidence that the CDC’s recommended information packet regarding PrEP says quite… Read more »

Rick Watts
Guest
Rick Watts

TOTAL DEATHS FROM AIDS IN USA 1981-2012: 658,507 DEATHS FROM AIDS IN USA IN 2012: 13,712 NEW HIV INFECTIONS PER YEAR IN US: ~50,000 LIFETIME MEDICAL COSTS FOR EACH NEW INFECTION: $368,000 LIFETIME MEDICAL COSTS FOR ONE YEAR’S NEW HIV PATIENTS: $18,400,000,000 AMERICANS CURRENTLY LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS: 1,201,000 LIFETIME MEDICAL COSTS FOR ALL AMERICANS CURRENTLY LIVING WITH HIV IF THERE IS NO CURE DISCOVERED: $441, 968,000,000 Right now, only 30% of the 1.2 million Americans with HIV have sufficient access to care and medicine to get their virus low enough to prevent transmission of the virus—which means 70% do not.… Read more »

ramorey
Guest
ramorey

Every major pharma company has been sued for fraud. Data can’t be trusted. PrEP can cause drug resistance if one gets HIV. It’s nothing more than another toxic drug marketed to the misinformed. People on hook up sites talk as if they have nothing to worry about if on PrEP, hence, INCREASING RISKY BEHAVIOR. Research CDC Whistleblower. Almost nothing that comes from CDC can be trusted anymore. Do your research and make your own decision on for-profit only drugs. Some of us are very informed about this drug and it’s toxic implications. Some of us know this is nothing more… Read more »

ramorey
Guest
ramorey

Read article: PrEP and Drug Resistance: Cause for Concern? April 6 2015 by Emily Newman

Don Azars
Guest
Don Azars

I’m not sure the City Council’s time isn’t wasted on such an item as this unless it’s to promote, allow or (gawd) restrict some distribution. They have more productive actions to take regarding parking, development, citizens rights, Deputy issues, crosswalk safety and other issues IN our city.