Misleading ads turn people away from HIV-prevention meds

(New York Times) - Targeted advertisements on Facebook and television that overstate side effects of HIV-prevention pills might be the greatest threat to protecting people at high risk of infection with the virus, experts say. The ads, sponsored by law firms, call for participation in class action lawsuits against Gilead Sciences, a California-based drugmaker that sells the only two U.S.-approved regimens of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medicines.

Taking the once-a-day pills can stop the HIV virus from establishing an infection in a person who has been exposed. In the journal Lancet HIV, Professor Amy Nunn and colleagues say the ads target people who already take the pills and dissuade them from continuing to do so by making false claims about their safety. READ MORE