Living in a community where there is a high percentage of HIV infected people, your chance of getting infected is higher. That’s why education and awareness are necessary. At HIVPrEP, we inform you of various trending and educational topics on PrEP and HIV, among others.
HIV infection is still a global epidemic, taking out lives every single day. Engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors create a high chance of contracting the virus. It’s time to take action and stay protected.
Apart from formulating and manufacturing drugs that treat and reduce the risk of HIV, pharmaceutical and health sectors need to create awareness and educate communities on the need to perform safer sex practices and the use of PrEP medicines when needed to protect themselves against HIV infection.
That’s what Gilead Sciences does – providing PrEP medication and creating awareness through various channels to spread the urge for an HIV-free society. Truvada is a globally recognized drug for PrEP, but many people still don’t get access to this medication.
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The company has spent $13 million on the ad, which has generated more than 385 million screen impressions so far.
Truvada was approved in 2004 as an HIV treatment therapy, but not as preventive or PrEP. In 2012, researchers from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation demonstrated with data that Truvada could reduce the HIV contraction for HIV-negative individuals who are at high risk by 92%. This research leads to Truvada’s approval by the FDA as the first PrEP drug for the reduction of HIV-1 infection.
Since then, Gilead didn’t intend to use HIV PrEP as a commercial opportunity for Truvada. But now there is an ad for it. This ad has boosted Truvada for PrEP users by thousands.
But it’s too late! They’d have started six years ago.
Truvada’s patent comes to an end in 2021, but the company is rigorously marketing Truvada for PrEP on social media and dating platforms such as Snapchat, Grindr and Tumblr.
So far, millions of Americans have benefited from taking Truvada to prevent HIV infection. Some of these Americans use approved generic versions of Truvada to protect themselves due to its cheaper price and availability.
HIV prevention awareness is necessary. Thousands of people don’t realize they are at risk of HIV infection. TV advertising is an excellent approach to educate people about possible risk factors of HIV contraction and what they can do to protect themselves.
That’s what the Truvada commercial portrays – it creates awareness about the HIV prevention option. Although it’s for people who engage in risky sex, some people find it offensive. Are black people the face of STDs/HIV infection since African-Americans play the role of HIV-positive people? No.
Some ask, why are most of the actors black? They act like a gay black couple, MSM, transgendered woman (actress), gay white couple and a black woman. Some believe the black woman is heterosexual, as she is seen holding hands with a black man at the end of the commercial.
Research shows bisexual men and gay men have the largest number of HIV-1 infection in the U.S. Compared to other ethnic and racial groups, Latinos and Blacks (or African Americans) are at a risk rate of contracting HIV .
Transgender women having sex with men and injection drug users are among the groups at substantially at high risk of HIV infection. In the ad, there is a transgender actress and some individuals see this fact as rather provocative.
It’s not surprising that Gilead chooses to create its Truvada ad based on these facts. Although some people found some racist context in this commercial, the ad addresses the reality of how HIV is spread. It’s to educate and awaken these groups on the importance of being on the pill to protect themselves from their high chances of getting the virus.
HIV is still a reality (very much) and it’s the role of our healthcare and pharmaceutical companies to foster wider awareness of prevention techniques, including the use of Truvada for PrEP, for millions of people at high risk of HIV through various programs.
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