SF Supervisor Scott Wiener reveals his use of HIV-prevention drug Truvada

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener on Wednesday revealed that he has been taking the HIV-prevention medication Truvada.

“I recently decided to be public about my use of PrEP in order to raise awareness about this relatively new tool for preventing HIV,” Wiener wrote in The Huffington Post. “It's important to encourage people at risk for HIV to talk to their medical providers about all the tools and methods available for preventing infection, including PrEP, and to choose the methods that are best for them.”

PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Daily use can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by up to 99 percent. Truvada in 2012 became the first anti-HIV medication approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

Wiener, along with David Campos, is one of two openly gay members of the Board of Supervisors. On Tuesday, Campos proposed that The City provide Truvada free of charge to all San Franciscans who request it, regardless of their respective incomes.

A hearing at City Hall today is expected to address Campos' proposal.

Meanwhile, the medication remains controversial, mainly due to its association with sex without condoms.

Wiener told The New York Times that he hopes to change that stigma, starting with his revealtion about using the medication.

“I definitely struggled with the decision about whether to be public about this because people will make a lot of assumptions and speculate,” Wiener told The Times. “But in the end I thought it was very important to be public given the district I represent and the community I represent precisely because we need to remove the stigma from PrEP.”

Wiener is HIV negative. He represents the Castro district, San Francisco's famous gay neighborhood where the HIV/AIDS epidemic was particularly devastating in the 1980s.

It's estimated that one in four gay men living in San Francisco today have HIV.

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