side effects

Just Because Truvada Can Cut HIV Transmission In Half Doesn’t Mean Everybody Should Start Taking It

Everyone wants a pill, a fix, a cure-all for what ails us. Science is looking for the magic bullet pill that we can take and eat whatever we want and still lose weight. Because we are lazy. The same for HIV. People think condoms aren’t fun; they can ruin the moment. But I disprove of a pill that would make healthy people customers of drug companies when all they have to do is take control of their bodies and lives. How many will see this as a prevention and run out and have unprotected sex? Far too many, since so many are doing it now. … We need a cure for HIV and AIDS. We’ve always had a way to prevent it, it’s called common sense and responsibility, though of course mistakes and accidents can happen.

— Charles Karel Bouley, known to San Francisco radio listeners as Karel, and whose husband Andrew Howard died of a heart attack after taking HIV/AIDS drugs, calling bullshit on the prospects of supposed HIV prevention wonder drug Truvada [via]

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  • Mike in Asheville

    Truvada is hardly a “wonder” drug when 56% of those taking the drug ended up getting HIV.

    Certainly it is remarkable that 44% of those taking the drug did not catch HIV; however, the reasons need further understanding. For example, those participating in a drug test tend to be more rigorous in taking other preventative measures such as less promiscuity and more comprehensive safe-sex techniques.

    What is important, it understanding if and how Truvada itself can prevent transmission of HIV. If indeed Truvada interrupts the virus’ ability to incubate, well that is a great start. Then researchers still need to learn what is causing the blocking of incubation and how to create a drug that will provide the same blocking ability in all (or at least the vast vast majority of cases, say 95+%). Now that would be a wonder drug.

  • Evan

    @Mike in Asheville: You’re misreading or mischaracterizing the study.

    “Researchers found 100 new cases of HIV during the study, relays AFP, which notes, “Of those, 36 were recorded among the 1,251 participants given Truvada and 64 among the 1,248 who had been given a placebo, showing that the drug reduced the risk of infection by 43.8 percent, according to the authors of the study.”

    Read more:

    In other words, 2.9% of subjects taking the drug were infected, compared to 5.1% of subjects taking a placebo. We can rule out behavioural explanations (unless the drug is psychoactive) because the trial was placebo-controlled; it’s not comparing study participants to the general population. So the effect seems to be pretty strong.

  • Josh


  • jak

    Good grief! Can’t people even accept a modicum of good news without tearing it to shreds with negativity?

  • Rick Gold

    @jak: Good grief, get over yourself.
    Queerty is as as much a news outlet as is Fox Noise.

    Take your bemoaning elsewhere.

    Much love.

  • Sean

    Bouley also says: “And if I turn up HIV positive, I will have worked for it, made bad decisions and thus deserve it. Not that we shouldn’t care. Many will deserve the heart attacks they have after years of bad food and no exercise, but we love them anyway.”

    When I read statements like this, I think that surely, people must be using a strange definition of “deserve”. I would say that eating too many fried foods may be stupid, or a bad series of decisions, but I wouldn’t say that it causes you to deserve to die.

    I also think that this is ridiculous:

    “But I disprove of a pill that would make healthy people customers of drug companies when all they have to do is take control of their bodies and lives.”

    Bouley may not be fond of Big Pharma, and there may be good reason for that, but sometimes taking pills is HOW people take control of their bodies and lives. I’d like to see him walk up to a woman who takes birth control pills and say these exact words to her.

    I may not support preventative use of Truvada (I think it’s too early to say if it’s really worth it, and it may not ever get approved/sold anyway), but I don’t think Bouley is evaluating it in the right way.

  • EdWoody

    I agree with him 100% – it’s all what I’ve been saying for the last 20 years.

  • Kurt

    Idiotic. The drug requires DAILY usage. Those not using condoms and most at risk for HIV are generally not disciplined enough to take a daily pill.

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