A new pro-PrEP ad campaign by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago launched today in response to an advertorial campaign across LGBT media outlets by AIDS Healthcare Foundation that prompted the community to consider the consequences of widespread PrEP use, calling it a “War on Prevention.”
The AHF advertorial spread takes up two pages and includes photos of demonstrators wrapped in condoms, as well as a colorful lineup of condoms echoing the Pride flag – just in time for Pride month.
AHF says in their campaign that they are not against PrEP use in all cases and think that it should be recommended on a case-by-case basis, however, the largest global HIV health organization says PrEP will give people a false sense of security and discourage condom use.
“The question is: What will become of the condom culture that has been so hard fought sicne the beginning of AIDS? No one can argue that men would prefer to have sex without condoms, but there are compromises we must make for the benefit of ourselves and society,” AHF President Michael Weinstein said in the advertisement. “While we cannot tell consenting adults that they must use condoms, we can tell them the truth. IF you have multiple partners or your partner has multiple partners, the most effective protection for yourself, your partners and your community is a condom.Mass PrEP administration is a dangerous experiment that is not supported by medical science and is currently resisted by doctors and patients alike.”
AHF placed the ads in LGBT media in key markets, including San Francisco/Bay Area, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, Seattle, Dallas, South Florida, and Chicago.
In response, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago took out a counter ad in the Windy City Times with a picture of a sand sculpture of a hand forcing a face into the ground with the text “AIDS Healthcare Foundation – Get your heads out of the sand! Halt PrEP Denialism.” In addition, the AFC released a statement, calling the AHF advertorial “inaccurate.”
“[AHF] continue to use faulty science and fear mongering to oppose PrEP, refusing to accept extensive research, and CDC recommendations, that indicate PrEP works, and works quite well to prevent HIV,” said the AFC. “The AIDS Foundation of Chicago fully endorses PrEP and calls on AIDS Healthcare foundation to halt their dangerous and disingenuous PrEP denialism and to stop spreading misinformation in Chicago and beyond.”
Despite AHF’s assertions in the advertorial, Truvada has been recommended for use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization since it was approved for preventing HIV infections by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 along with numerous HIV and AIDS organizations.
For more on PrEP and whether it’s the right choice for you, check out our 31 Days of PrEP.