Home > News > Acworth, Weinstein Debate Whether Truvada Can Fight HIV • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Acworth, Weinstein Debate Whether Truvada Can Fight HIV

Acworth, Weinstein Debate Whether Truvada Can Fight HIV
Get XBIZ News
Jun 17, 2014 5:00 PM PDT    Text size: 

NEW YORK — Is Truvada enough to fight HIV?

That question was left to five debaters, including Kink.com's Peter Acworth and AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Michael Weinstein, who offered their own takes on the question to The New York Times this evening.

Acworth and Weinstein were joined by debaters Renato Barucco, a public health advocate; Larry Kramers, a playright and gay rights advocate; and Kenneth Mayer of the medical research group Fenway Institute.

Each of the debaters were asked,  "Is promoting the use of the antiviral drug Truvada a good public health strategy, or will it encourage more to have unprotected sex?"

Below are responses from Acworth and Weinstein. Responses from all five debaters can be viewed on The New York Times' website.

Peter Acworth, Kink.com

In the adult film industry, we have safeguards in place that have done a good job of protecting performers from HIV on set. In order to work, a performer must have tested negative for HIV and other STIs within the last 14 days. While some performers choose to use condoms, most, for reasons of comfort, prefer not to.

Due to the efficacy of these protocols, the adult industry has not had a single documented case of on-set HIV transmission since 2004. During that same ten year span, however, a handful of performers have tested positive at their biweekly tests. Through viral genealogy, doctors were able to trace each of these transmission to their personal lives, where the people they encounter may not be tested. But just because it didn’t happen on set, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t concern us. After all, these are our co-workers, our friends, our family. For those of us who truly care about performers, Truvada offers a way to protect them both on set and off.

Oddly, the current debate about condoms in adult film has been entirely limited to performers’ on-set safety. Michael Weinstein at AIDS Healthcare Foundation (the same person who enraged the gay community by referring to Truvada as a “party drug”) and Assemblymember Isadore Hall have made mandatory condoms their rallying cry for performer health. The reality is their legislation, AB 1576, wouldn’t have stopped the performers I mentioned from contracting HIV

Had these performers been taking Truvada, on the other hand, they still could be HIV negative. We owe it to performers and other sex workers to move beyond old models of prevention and educate them about all the safeguards at their disposal — including PrEP — and let them decide for themselves whether they are taking risks that might be mitigated by use of PrEP. Morality and politics shouldn’t cloud prevention, on-set or off.

Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

We know that young people think they are invincible and that self-esteem plays a huge role in sexual risk-taking. It is not a surprise that gay men, as most men, prefer intercourse without condoms. Knowing what we know, what should we do about it?

There is a line of argument that promoting condom use is a lost cause. According to some, even if we talk ourselves blue in the face, no one is listening. We are supposed to come up with a whole new strategy – Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP. It all sounds so sensible. The problem is that it won't work.

PrEP has failed to protect the majority of men in every clinical trial (study). Relying on negative men to take this medication every day just doesn't happen most of the time. If you have multiple partners over a long period of time and you are not using condoms, there is a very high likelihood that you will turn HIV positive or contract other S.T.D.'s. Sorry to deliver the bad news.

So, despite the rise in unsafe sex, condom promotion remains the best strategy we have to protect our community. Today, when the fear of HIV has receded because of the improvements in HIV treatment, it is more important than ever to promote safer sex. We won't reach everyone (although the majority of gay men still do use condoms), but if we let our guard down and give up on safer sex, it is guaranteed that many more men will become infected.

It may not be fashionable to tell gay men that they need to use condoms, but it is the only strategy that has proven effective over the long term.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

PROFILES & BIOS

WIA Profile: Kate Hodgson-Egan

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of... More »

Q&A: Holiday Products Founder Moe Levy Reflects on Decades of Career Accomplishments

Born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., as an only child, Moe Levy learned to become business savvy at an early age from his parents. Even more importantly, Levy says his parents instilled in him their people-oriented... More »

AWSummit’s Alexandru Gheorghe Has Eyes Set on Growth

The AWSummit has quickly made its mark and has become a top draw for chat hosts, studios and cam sites from all over the world. Founded by CEO Alexandru Gheorghe just two years ago, the cam-centric AW... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

XBIZ 2017

Jan 09 - Jan 13
Hollywood, CA

XBIZ Awards 2017

Jan 12 - Jan 12
Los Angeles, CA

ANME Founders Show

Jan 14 - Jan 15
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport

Everything To Do With Sex Show

Jan 20 - Jan 22
Montréal, Québec
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!