ACT UP/NY has been instrumental in the roll out of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, in NYC and State. But until now the conversation has not included women's voices. I am writing to invite you to a PrEP Rally for Women, the first community wide discussion for and by women about PrEP to prevent HIV. Co-hosted by Mt. Sinai, GMHC and ACT UP/NY, the event will be held Tuesday, October 14th, 6 - 7:30 pm at Mt. Sinai-Roosevelt Hospital, 1000 10th Ave at 59th Street, Conference Room B. Confirmed panelists include:
- Shobha Swaminathan, MD, Rutgers/New Jersey Medical School
- Poppy, woman who was on PrEP when trying to get pregnant (via video from California)
- Jasmine, woman currently on PrEP (via phone)
- Julie Lynn, woman currently on PrEP
- Kimberleigh J. Smith, Harlem United Community AIDS Center
- Lynnette Ford, MSW, GMHC
- Moderator: Terri L. Wilder, Mt. Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine & ACT UP/NY Women's Caucus
IN SENATE LETTER, ACTIVISTS CALL FOR LOW PRICED HEPATITIS C CURE TO END THE NATIONAL EPIDEMIC
NEW YORK CITY – AUGUST 13, 2014 – Today ACT UP New York publicly challenged the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to negotiate with Gilead to reduce Sovaldi’s $1000 per pill price by 90% or more, a reduction that would save billions of dollars in U.S. health care spending, and could save hundreds of thousands more American lives, setting the groundwork for national and global eradication of hepatitis C.
Even before Gilead reported making $5.8 billion in sales on Sovaldi in just the first six months of 2014, activists, health policy experts and government officials had sharpened their criticism of the pharmaceutical company, which had previously had a relatively good reputation in the HIV community. The process by which Gilead arrived at a price for its hepatitis C drug is controversial, particularly because Gilead acquired the drug through the $11 billion purchase of the company Pharmasset, which had priced the drug significantly lower.
For NY Pride on Sun June 29, ACT UP will march down 5th Ave and Christopher St. handing out thousands of Fuck Smarter safe sex kits and flyers denouncing Big Pharma company Gilead as the bloodsucking corporate vampires they are.
Currently, Gilead has priced their Hepatitis C cure at $1000/pill, and the cure requires taking a pill/day for 84 days. That's $84,000 for a pill regimen that costs less than $200 to make total. Why does one pill cost so much? Greed. What allows Gilead to charge so much? A government that supports the rights of corporations like Gilead over the basic human rights of its own citizens.
New Infections on the Rise in Key Subpopulations, Despite Options for Prevention
From ACT UP New York
June 9, 2014
Complacent Disease Control Kills
Atlanta, Ga. -- The number of new cases of HIV in the U.S. overall has held steady for the past decade at 50,000 per year. But this doesn't mean that the HIV epidemic has steadied. Since 1993, new cases of HIV among gay and bisexual men and transgender women have been on the rise. According to numerous local and national studies, they've spiked. In Atlanta, a recent study shows that 12% of young gay black men are getting HIV every year. Even in the CDC's own backyard, the HIV crisis continues to rage.
Up until recently, preventing sexual transmission of HIV meant one thing: condoms. Today, there are three additional, proven means of HIV prevention:
Treatment as Prevention (TasP): Sustaining an undetectable viral load if you have HIV means you are highly unlikely to transmit the disease.
Truvada, a pill originally developed for the treatment of HIV, can now be taken once daily as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, to pharmaceutically prevent HIV in negative people at risk.
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP): Taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible after exposure to HIV can reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive. To be effective, PEP must begin within 72 hours of exposure.
Without real leadership and promotion from U.S. public health officials, these prevention methods will remain underutilized. Without a concerted effort to address the HIV prevention needs of marginalized communities affected by high levels of homelessness, job insecurity, and HIV-related stigma, it will not be feasible or safe for individuals to access the resources they need to protect themselves.
On Monday, June 9th, members of ACT UP NY, along with Treatment Action Group (TAG) and Atlanta allies, will meet with...