Tag Archives: Truvada

Coming Soon Near You: HIV Drug Ads Targeting Black Women

Whether we know it or not, we Black American women are more likely to be infected with HIV than any other women. And, we are more than twice as likely to be newly infected than Black men. Southern Black Ladies are at even more risk!

These days we do have more options. Truvada – the drug that treats HIV/AIDS – also works for prevention. Taken daily at a lower dose, healthy people can avoid contracting HIV. It’s a pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP.   But, Truvada PrEP isn’t well known among us, and many primary care providers like obgyns aren’t that familiar with the drug either.

Although PrEP was rolled out in 2012, it hasn’t caught on for a lot of reasons, especially among “us.” Well, U.S. public health officials and non-profits are out to change this. They’re on a mission to bring ads to communities, especially to African-American women, across the country.

A big challenge is not a lot of Black women are into taking a pill every day to prevent a disease they could prevent by keeping their pocket book closed or making their man wrap it up. But, PrEP is particularly appropriate for women who have infected partners – or men who refuse to wear condoms. You need to know your HIV status though, which means getting tested regularly. Having PrEP as an option makes getting tested and insisting your partner get tested regularly a little easier. A little easier… right? Not always an easy conversation to have but a necessary one.

New York City’s PrEP campaign came out over a year ago under the name “Play Sure,” aimed at the general at-risk population. The results are still being reviewed. But, it is clear African-Americans aren’t using PrEP as much as their White and Latino counterparts.

Washington, DC just rolled out their big PrEP campaign last December called “DC takes on HIV,” aimed at Black women. Women in DC are particularly at risk because 2% of residents are already HIV infected; AIDS is an epidemic there. DC’s campaign aims to have 90 percent of D.C. residents aware of their HIV status, 90 percent of D.C. residents who are diagnosed with HIV seeking treatment, another 90 percent who are already under treatment achieving viral load suppression and a 50 percent overall decrease in new HIV cases. Okay now…

The Black Women’s Health Initiative – the only organization dedicated to improving the lives and health of the U.S.’s 21 million Black women and girls – rolled out their campaign. A big message of theirs is 1 in 32 Black women will become infected with HIV.  Articles in newspapers are showing up in old school Black press like the L.A. Sentinel and elsewhere, targeting Black women.

As we roll into 2017, let’s take time to reflect and determine how we will make the new year AIDS free.

New Recommendations On How To Prevent HIV/AIDS

Ladies, did you know that in the US, HIV-infection rates are no longer going down and at the same time condom use continues to fall?

What to do?

US health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now recommending that Americans at high risk of infection take Truvada(R), a pill from Gilead Sciences.  Truvada is the only drug approved for both HIV prevention – and treatment

SuzyKnew! first brought you news on Truvada back in May 2012, when it was approved by the FDA to prevent HIV/AIDS in addition to its use as treatment. At the time, the CDC declined to recommend the drug to stave off HIV infection, despite the FDA approval. Now the organization has changed its mind. According to FiercePharma, fewer than 10,000 patients use Truvada now. But, that could rise drastically – as much as five-fold – if more people follow the new guidelines. However, it could take quite a while for people to start using the drug for prevention, even though it could save and extend lives.

It’s definitely great news that there is now more than one way to prevent HIV/AIDS. We need all the ammunition we can get. But, we all know condoms are the only way to prevent both HIV and STI’s. Plus, condoms are drug-free.

Keep it sexy!

Keep it healthy


OraQuick, An In-Home HIV Test, Is Approved


Ladies, have you always wanted to take an HIV/AIDS test but just couldn’t muster up the courage or the time? Well, finally you can take an HIV test in the privacy of your own home and get the results in only 20-40 minutes. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved OraSure’s in-home version of its lab diagnostic for HIV testing, OraQuick.

In many countries, large percentages of people pass on the HIV virus to their partners because they do not know that they are infected.  In the US, where 20% of the population is unaware of their HIV status, there are many reasons people don’t get tested. These reasons include not wanting to discuss the topic with their provider as well as providers not offering the test.  Also, not everyone has a regular doctor, and there are many people who don’t want to be seen entering a clinic to get tested.  Not to mention the cost and time factors that are involved. In the US, HIV infection among Black women in large cities is the same as it is many African countries. AIDS is largest cause of death for Black women, and many do not know they’re infected.

OraQuick is an oral test (no needles and blood work here!) and is expected to retail around $40, with a launch date set in October 2012. Its availability along with Truvada®, an antiretroviral that can now be used for prevention, has given women more ammunition to protect themselves against infection and from infecting others.

Be healthy and be sexy!



Is Truvada® the Faithful Black and Asian Woman’s Protection Against HIV?

Ladies, you know the statistics: Our communities have been hit hard by HIV, and we as women are in many instances more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS than men. Whether you live in New York, Jo’Burg, Lagos, London, Manila, or L.A you know that you are more at risk of getting HIV from your man than white women even if you’re faithful to him! Many of our men are not truthful about their Kaoreke ladies or the other women… or other men… they have on side, leaving us vulnerable to many sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS.

I’ve seen faithful women in the US, Africa and Asia fall victim to AIDS due to their partner’s lack of faithfulness.

But, has our time come? Do we now have a weapon to protect our lives when we can’t get our men to use condoms. Truvada®, a pill currently used to treat people with HIV, could prevent infections among those at high risk, according to recent studies. Two groups would be targeted for this new use, including  couples where one person is infected and the other isn’t. This means if your man is on the low down or unfaithful you could protect yourself.  It also means that if you’re HIV positive, you can greatly reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to your partner. The regimen would require daily use to be effective, which means taking it every day. It can be 90 percent; but, in the real world, it has not been more on the level of 44 to 73 percent effective.

Truvada®, manufactured by Gilead, is up before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval as a preventive treatment for HIV/AIDS. Ladies, stay tuned for more on this drug. It could be our chance to take more control over our lives – literally!