Why Isn't the Morning-After HIV Pill Advertised?

Activists are asking why there is no advertising about medication that could dramatically reduce the rate of HIV infection after exposure.

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ACT UP activists hold 20th anniversary rally in 2007. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

AIDS activists recently staged a protest in New York City about the medication that could dramatically reduce the rate of HIV infection after exposure, Colorlines reports.

Over at New York Magazine, Tim Murphy recounts a recent action by ACT UP outside of a city hospital for the confusion surrounding a pill that could dramatically reduce the rate of HIV infection after exposure. 

Well, what is PEP? Short for "post-exposure prophylaxis," it is the practice of starting a month-long course of HIV meds within 72 hours of possible exposure to the virus to prevent permanent infection. In 2005, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued evidence of PEP's effectiveness plus guidelines for PEP usage, and the New York State health department did the same in 2008 -- and again as recently as this year -- for ERs throughout the state, requiring them to administer PEP to medically qualified patients who request it" ...

"But perhaps a bigger question is: Eight years into the CDC putting its stamp of approval on PEP as a measure to block HIV infection, why do so few people -- especially gay men, who continue to make up the city's highest rate of HIV infections -- know what it is or where to get it? Especially in a city that ranks with L.A. and Miami as having the highest HIV rates in the country. Not to mention a city whose health department obviously cares about preventing HIV and has put considerable money and effort into widely distributing its own branded condoms.

Read more at Colorlines and New York magazine.

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