Activists are calling on Facebook to
remove ads that suggest the HIV prevention drug PrEP is unsafe.
More than 50 LGBT, HIV/AIDS, and public
health groups have signed a letter asking Facebook Chairman and CEO
Mark Zuckerberg to drop the ads from running on Facebook and
Instagram, which Facebook owns.
The groups said in their letter that
the ads are “dangerous and misleading.”
“Using Facebook’s and Instagram’s
targeted advertising programs, various law firms are attempting to
recruit gay and bisexual men who use Truvada PrEP as an HIV
preventative to join a lawsuit, claiming that the drug has caused
harmful side effects in this patient population, specifically bone
density and kidney issues,” the letter states.
One ad targeted by the groups states:
“Truvada NRTIs drug ALERT Bone Loss Kidney Damage.”
Citing studies conducted by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the groups said
that using PrEP as a preventative medication has minimal to no side
“By allowing these advertisements to
persist on their platforms, Facebook and Instagram are convincing
at-risk individuals to avoid PrEP, invariably leading to avoidable
HIV infections,” the groups said. “You are harming public
Facebook has said that the ads do not
violate its advertising policies.