New US PrEP ads target men who like to party
A US ad campaign is targeting recreational drug users in an attempt to get them onto PrEP.
The new series of public service announcements is aimed at getting effective HIV prevention into the hands of those who are most at risk of contracting the virus: men who enjoy recreational sex and drug use but do not test regularly for HIV.
Individuals who fit that bill are especially poised to benefit from pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a course of HIV medication for HIV negative people which is more than 99 per cent effective at preventing HIV infection when taken as directed.
The new spot is specifically directed at men who may be at high risk but feel shamed by the social baggage attached to taking Truvada, the only form of PrEP currently approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The campaign is supported by Gilead Sciences, manufacturer of Truvada.
One of the campaign devisers, Kenny Neal Shults, said the message was directed at men who showed risky behaviour.
"When we sat down to consider the best audiences for the campaigns we knew only one thing for certain: We wanted to address gay men who might fall under the puritanical 'Truvada whore' classification,” Shults said.
“That is, we wanted to reach men whose sexual and recreational drug behaviours both put them at a greater risk for both contracting HIV and being stigmatized for even considering going on PrEP.”