The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) ringing endorsement last week of Truvada, the “miracle drug” that blocks HIV infection, presents news outlets with a prime opportunity to cover an historic development in the three-decade struggle against HIV/AIDS. So far, however, media organizations have largely ignored the story.
Truvada is a 10-year-old pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment combining two different antiviral drugs. Taken daily, it prevents infection of HIV. Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug back in July 2012, it hasn’t exactly caught on; a September 2013 report by Gilead Sciences found that only 1,774 people had filled Truvada prescriptions from January 2011 through March 2013. Nearly half of users were women, even though gay men are the demographic group most at risk for HIV/AIDS.
Part of the reason Truvada has been slow to gain steam is, undoubtedly, the stigma attached to those who use it. Gay men who use the drug have been derided as “Truvada Whores,” a term many users have sought to reclaim.
Only one major broadcast network (ABC) and two major newspapers (The New York Times and The Washington Post) have reported on the CDC’s endorsement of this groundbreaking medical development.
"Radical" side of board: Huey P Newton, Al Sharpton, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Bobby Seal[e], W.E.B DuBois, Lena Horne, James Brown, Harriet Tubman, Cornel West, Stokley Carmichael, Muhammad Ali and Marcus Garvey.
"Nonviolence" side of board: Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Coretta Scott-King, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis, Frederick Douglas, Willie Mays, Thurgood Marshall, Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks, Joseph Lowery, Maya Angelou and Booker T Washington.