Access to PrEP and Fighting Stigma
In January, GLAD filed a lawsuit against a doctor whose patient contracted HIV after being denied a prescription for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis medication). PrEP is a drug that can prevent HIV transmission, and it’s one of the most important breakthroughs in the fight to end the HIV epidemic. PrEP is straightforward, well-established, and much less complex than many other commonly prescribed drugs. But because of stigma and misunderstanding, PrEP has been vastly under-prescribed, especially among men of color who have sex with men. Too many primary care doctors won’t prescribe it because of bias around gay sex and HIV itself. We filed this lawsuit so that we can change physician practice and ensure that PrEP is available to all who need it. By refusing to prescribe PrEP, this doctor failed to allow his patient to access a medication that prevents the risk of HIV transmission by close to one hundred percent.
We will continue, with this case and otherwise, to fight the stigma that surrounds men who have sex with men, HIV, and people living with HIV. Everyone deserves best practice healthcare without the interference of personal bias.