AIDS Prevention: Why Did It Take So Long to Show Something Scientists Knew 15 Years Ago?

Answer: Trial lawyers, government (FDA) regulators, anti-U.S. activists and a company afraid of all of the above. This is the strongest argument I’ve seen yet against “evidenced-based” medicine:

Last week, a clinical trial showed that taking Truvada, a pill combining two drugs, once a day would greatly reduce a gay man’s chances of getting infected with the [AIDS] virus… But Truvada has been sold since 2004. And the world has known since 1995 that antiretroviral drugs, used in combination, can rescue people with AIDS. As far back as at least 1990, it also knew that “post-exposure prophylaxis” (“pep”) often works in humans — that is, that a victim of a needle stick or rape or unprotected sex who begins taking a short course of antiretrovirals within 72 hours can probably avoid infection.

A few scientists even knew by 1995 that a drug in Truvada can protect monkeys from infection with the simian version of the AIDS virus.

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. What upsets me is that they are promoting this drug as salvation for Africa, whereas the real market is homosexual men in the USA and other developed countries, so that they can go back to their old, hyper-promiscuous ways.

    Not that it bothers me what adults to with each other, but the government will force health insurers to pay for this drug as “preventive” care. It will undoubtedly be very expensive, which will increase premiums for all of us.

  2. Madeline says:

    I totally agree with you. This is the strongest argument I’ve seen yet against so-called evidenced-based medicine.

  3. Larry says:

    This is really inexcusable. Think about how many lives have been lost while these people dithered and dallied.

  4. Bret says:

    I agree with Larry. This is awful. And to Nordicus Major’s point, no — I don’t think this is the type of thing insurance should pay for. If people want to engage in risky behavior, they should pay the cost from their own resources.

  5. Greg says:

    The real question is: why should government regulators and trial lawyers — to say nothing of protestors — be able to stand between you and a drug that could save your life?