Michael Weinstein Is a Backwards, Out-of-Touch Slut-Shamer Who Needs to Resign, Says New Petition

ahf-weinstein

Those in the porn industry are already very familiar with the name Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), because this asshole has been on a righteous condom crusade in L.A. for years now, culminating in the passage of Prop B in 2012. And now that Weinstein has ignored medical evidence showing the effectiveness of the drug Truvada in preventing HIV transmission — medical professionals are saying it’s actually more effective than condoms, which can break — his own people are turning against him.

A new petition has just been started called Remove Weinstein, and as Frontiers LA reports, it was started by AHF rep Eric Leue, a.k.a. this year’s Mr. L.A. Leather. Leue was the face of an AHF HIV testing campaign aimed at the leather community, but in the wake of Weinstein referring to Truvada as “a party drug” in a recent AP interview, Leue has withdrawn from his work with the AHF and is now seeking to get Weinstein removed from his position as president and CEO of the organization. Basically because he’s anti-science and can’t get it out of his head that condoms are the only answer.

Also, it’s kind of like he’s too proud to admit he was wrong when, five years ago, he was criticizing the government for spending money to study Truvada, saying those funds should have been going to him and his condom campaigns, basically. Does everyone remember this PSA? Or his campaign against Viagra?!

Leue writes:

In 2012 the FDA approved the medication Truvada for use by people at high risk for HIV—including gay men, sex workers and HIV-negative individuals in relationships with people living with HIV—to help prevent transmission of the virus. Yet rather than embrace Truvada, one of the most revolutionary developments in the history of the AIDS epidemic, Weinstein poured considerable resources into fighting its approval, and called the HIV-prevention pill “a party drug.”

This petition is not about how Weinstein or we personally feel about HIV PrEP. This petition is about whether we, the people, should be allowed access to accurate information, free of stigma and discrimination. Since 1980, HIV and its prevention has been framed in moral terms, and the people carrying the virus blamed. The head of our largest AIDS service organization should know that HIV prevention is not “a party.”

Now, we here at The Sword are all about safe sex and testing, for porn performers and everyone else, but it’s hard for any rational person to deny the fact that Truvada is changing the playing field when it comes to HIV prevention. And someone in Weinstein’s position sounds purely stubborn, moralistic, and anachronistic when he says something like, “If something comes along that’s better than condoms, I’m all for it, but Truvada is not that.”

Meanwhile, Weinstein remains the driving force behind a campaign to get Kink.com and Treasure Island Media fined by Cal/OSHA for shooting bareback porn (in the case of Kink, that’s straight porn, because they use condoms for all gay shoots). And if this proposed statewide condom and testing law he’s pushing passes the California legislature, it is likely to drive a large percentage of porn shoots, and companies, out of the state.

Columnist Andrew Sullivan also came out swinging after Weinstein’s remarks, reiterating the argument made by one of the doctors in charge of the original Truvada study that the stigma that now surrounds the drug is akin to the stigma around the birth control pill in the 1960s. It was available, and FDA-approved, but it was still taboo according to society.

So, refer back to this video. Know that we’re not suggesting that condoms aren’t still important — and not everyone is going to have access to Truvada nor will everyone who takes it necessarily take it properly, every day. But, sign the petition.

Because this guy is an asshole.

[Change.org]
[Frontiers LA]
[HuffPo]

 

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23 Responses to “Michael Weinstein Is a Backwards, Out-of-Touch Slut-Shamer Who Needs to Resign, Says New Petition”

  1. fxparis says:

    The lobbying of drugs industry is so strong in USA that you can read so many dangerous lies about Truvada
    Thats totally false and irresponsible to say that Truvada protect as condoms
    All the studies report à maximum efficacity of 50% and this is not without side effects
    A shame to make beleive this we are speaking about people lifes!!

    • j kelly says:

      Absolute bullshit! If you don’t take the drugs, they don’t work. Same with condoms.

      • Uh Huh says:

        And if you do take Truvada, which costs $15,000 a year, it is not 100% effective. Not even close. Most studies report between a 45% and 75% efficacy. Of the more positive test subjects, it was 75% effective with those taking Truvada 90% of the time. However, some studies reported as many as 50% stopped taking Truvada because of the painful and unpleasant side effects. It’s reasonable to assume that many won’t take it regularly because of the cost. Regardless, if you do take Truvada, it should be alongside the use of condoms.

        I know the porn industry is huge and influential, but the irresponsible industry response to Weinstein may just be reinforcing what he’s saying.

        • j kelly says:

          “Men who do this have almost total protection against HIV infection. Those who miss three doses a week still get 96% protection, say Robert M. Grant, MD, MPH, associate director of the University of California, San Francisco Center for AIDS Research, and colleagues.”

          http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/news/20120912/missed-dose-truvada-still-prevents-hiv-men

          • Uh Huh says:

            Cherry pick whatever information you want. That number is very misleading. Read the full study of the snippet you provided. In this study, perfectly administered Truvada each day, the effectiveness is, say 94%. So missing three doses (it doesn’t state how frequent that three doses are missed, each week, each month) means that it’s still 96% effective of that number, bringing the effectiveness from 94%, down by 96% to 90%. And that was one study. There are others that are less promising.

            Then there’s still the cost. Which is in the area of $1400-1500 a month if taken daily. Insurance isn’t covering it for everyone.

  2. mr. Pam says:

    Amen! Michael Weinstein has got to go – AHF is destroying the adult industry in California!
    The gay community needs access to all HIV prevention methods, and so far, Truvada PrEP is proving to be an awesome alternative (or addition) to condoms.

    PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION :)
    https://www.change.org/petitions/ahf-remove-weinstein

    hugs & slurps…
    mr .Pam

  3. j kelly says:

    Not always a fan, but I’m squarely in camp Andrew Sullivan on this one. Go fuck yourself Michael Weinstein.

  4. gnormie says:

    so you’re shaming him because he’s pro-condom?

    • j kelly says:

      No, because he’s anti anything but condoms. Condoms. Condoms. Condoms! My way or the highway.

      • Junior says:

        Not at all Gnormie, read into it it’s more than that. I was at first for it thinking he was all about condoms but the more you dig in the more you see it’s to do with more than just condoms. Plus being against Truvada… Really?? You think the AHF would be all over that.

        Also AHF has some investments in condom companies, it’s this whole shit storm just read up on it and see for yourself that it’s more than condoms in porn.

    • j kelly says:

      Also, “party drug.” Why didn’t he just come out and say “Truvada whore?” That’s what he implied. Even then, so what? I thought he was interested in HIV prevention, not condomless sex prevention. Truvada as PrEP is another tool in the tool box. Use it or don’t.

  5. joey says:

    i am on some kind of anti retroviral, and have been told its supposed to do the same as Truvada, but i dont think i would give it a try (sex wise i mean) just yet (i never bb anyway) i think i’d wait to see how it works. i guarantee we are going hear very soon about all the guys it didnt work for afterall its not 100%. best thing to do is never bb, next best thing is this drug WITH a condom.

  6. EZO says:

    I’m sure this is political like everything else in this world. He’s most likely getting kickbacks from the condom industry to promote condoms, which is why Truvada is being seen as an evil.

    That being said, if this is an arguement or Truvada vs. condoms, condoms win 100% of the time. Neither is fool proof, of course, but there’s other STDs out there besides HIV and if people go around barebacking all willy nilly thinking they’re safe because they use a pill, they’re putting themselves and others at risk of spreading and receiving these STDs, which is probably where the whole “party drug” nonsense comes from. Plus, as a new drug, I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting my trust in Truvada as a prevention tool.

    condoms break and everything, but I’ve been using them for a decade plus and haven’t had any problems with them so far, so i’ll stick to them. People fighting so hard as using this as a means to go bareback makes me glad i’m not a part of the scene. You can take that comment however you want.

  7. Rich says:

    Maybe I am wrong bUt doesn’t condom usage also prevent, or at least minimize the chances of a guy contacting a few other STDs besides HIV. How does the new drug Truvada prevent one from contacting other STDS?

  8. Kyle says:

    Signed. With a face like that no wonder he’s fucking bitter.

  9. Luke says:

    Gee, I remember a time when Act Up was almost seen as a terrorist group for throwing condoms at a Catholic Church. How far we have come to demand resignations for people who lobby for condoms. Lets get through this smoke screen and call it for what it is. The gay porn industry is still bitter about condoms. Why are gay lives seen less than straight lives? There would never be unprotected straight porn videos with HIV positive performers. But for some reason it is accepted with gays as if we are deserve less and being HIV positive is some sort of given for being gay. If ONLY we could go back to the radical Act Up days.

  10. TJ1306 says:

    I agree with the use for sex workers, people in sero-discordant relationships, but as a daily pill for the everyday gay man?? No way.
    Only effective if you remember to take it EVERYDAY!! I doubt people are going to be that responsible. And once they start feeling the meds side effects, I’m sure they will stop taking it.
    All this debate over a pill just so you can take a load up your ass???? I don’t get it.

    • ErikFaust says:

      You do realize there has been a decade of use for Truvada and it is well tolerated by most patients, right? And you understand that the point of PrEP is NOT to be used for one’s entire life; rather, the purpose of PrEP is to be used at those times in life when one might find themselves single and “playing the dating field,” or if one is in an open-relationship, etc. Once you might find yourself in a monogamous relationship or non-sexual, then you can simply go off of PrEP.

      Let’s remind everyone too, there are new methods of taking PrEP coming in the future. Currently, the most focus is on an injectable form of PrEP that could be taken once every 3 or 4 weeks depending on efficacy rates. Mostlikely it will initially be done in a doctor’s office setting but the hope is that it could be done at home, no different than someone with diabetes taking their insulin. This IS the future of eliminating the 50,000 new infections every year, we need to embrace it and educate ourselves.

  11. Aramis says:

    I think Mr. Weinstein is correct and I support his position so I won’t sign nothing…

  12. KiDAciDic says:

    I dont understand what this bizarre shift for barebacking is about all of the sudden (be honest, the rabid fanboyism for a drug that seems like an alpha stage for a real weapon against HIV transmission is nothing more than “naturalists” equivalent to the conservatives screeming “the government’s taken mah rights away!”) People en mass cant take this drug. What are low income gays going to do? Oh lovely another way to breed more class discrimination within the gay community with the “haves” and their designer “failproof” shots and the “have-nots” who have to settle for their “dangerously unreliable” condoms. And its supposed to be taken when “single and playing the field”???? Are you joking? Like your going to rely on people’s virtue to prevent the spread of disease!? You think a drug company is pushing this out of the kindness of their hearts and this big bad man is giving them a hard time cause he’s just mean??? Yes, please do put it out there so groups of “self assured” gays can start the wheels turning on the second HIV/Aids epidemic.

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