Sometimes our gay Supervisors have to battle it out for who's courting the gay vote better, and this week it's all about Truvada the HIV-prevention pill that Supervisor David Campos says more people need access to, and that Supervisor Scott Wiener has just admitted he is taking. The New York Times calls Wiener's declaration "an unusual public announcement," but then again the New York Times doesn't get San Francisco politics.
Wiener, 44, came out publicly on the Huffington Post Wednesday as a gay politician who takes PrEP, saying, "I am using PrEP as a personal health choice that I made in consultation with my physician." He added that his decision was due in part to having come out of the closet at the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1990, and in part because of the influence of friends taking the drug who told him "their general anxiety level around intimacy has gone down significantly." He says deciding to be open about this as an elected official was "a hard but necessary choice," but that he did it in order to encourage others at risk for HIV to seek medical advice about PrEP themselves.
James Loduca of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation called the announcement "incredibly courageous."
Meanwhile, today is the day that Campos is holding his previously announced committee hearing to develop a citywide plan to provide greater access to Truvada/PrEP to anyone who wants it, regardless of their ability to pay. The daily drug, while covered by some health insurers, can potentially cost upwards of $8,000 per year.
Wiener is attending today's hearing, and Campos's office has this to say: "David and community activists have been working on PrEP legislation for months now. We're truly thankful that Scott came out of the closet to support PrEP in time for this important hearing. The movement to make PrEP available for everyone regardless of income is made stronger by every person who joins us."