Gay Sex Drug to Receive Taxpayer Subsidy

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) whose role it is to advise the Federal Health Minister about which drugs should received a taxpayer subsidy on Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme recommended that pre-exposure prophylaxis (commonly referred to as PrEP) be listed on it.

PrEP is designated as a HIV prevention drug however it is largely used (not exclusively) by gay men who engage in sexual intercourse. It will see the annual cost of the medication go from AU$10,000 (US$7,828) to $39.50 ($31) with a prescription. Health Minister Greg Hunt has agreed to implement the recommendation of PBAC.

It’s pending listing of the PBS is a result of years of lobbying by various Australian LGBT and AIDS organisations who have claimed that making a drug such as PrEP more affordable will help save lives. It has already received much taxpayer funds through the various trials of the drug funded by state governments.

However rather than it being a vital drug for all gay men to take it is actually aimed at men who do not or do not always use condoms during sex because condoms inhibit their sexual performance.

Nicholas Feustel from the organisation Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention stated that PrEP “is for those who find that condoms are not an appropriate way to protect against HIV for them”. Adding “There just are many who do not get along with condoms. Be it because they lose their erection when putting on the condom or they want to be close to their partner without a latex barrier”.

He also went onto say that gays who did not want to use condoms to protect themselves from HIV were being stigmatised “we got drummed for 30 years that only gays who have sex with condoms are good gays. And sex without a condom is evil, evil, evil”.

It was because PrEP being used more as a sexual lifestyle drug that the PBAC previously rejected the application to have it listed on the PBS when it stated “the efficacy of Truvada (brand of PrEP) was highly dependent on adherence, and that it is not clear if subjects at high risk of contracting HIV due to self-reported low adherence to safer sex practices would also have lower adherence to medication”.

Of course everybody wants to see HIV transmission rates lowered and if gay men (or others) wish to take PrEP that is there choice. However someone’s sexual lifestyle can increase the risk of transmission and asking taxpayers to basically subsides that life choice seems many would view as inappropriate.

At a time when health budgets are blowing out which drugs are available on the PBS should be properly scrutinised. It could be argued sunscreen should be listed on the PBS because it helps prevent cancer. Having PrEP on the PBS in the name of gay rights and because we should never morally judge people is not the right way to make health policy.

Tim Wilms

Tim Wilms is Editor-in-Chief of The Unshackled and host of The Unshackled Waves podcast. He is based in Melbourne, Victoria where he also does field reports.

  • Malcolm Smith

    I am reminded of the effect of the oral contraceptive on out-of-wedlock pregnancies. It increased them! The reasons are two-fold. The first is that it encouraged certain women to sleep around, but they used them inconsistently. The other was that it removed the stigma from unchastity, with the result that many women slept around without the use of contraceptives.
    I predict that the use of Truvada will encourage condom free sex in the homosexual community, while inconsistent use or non-use will increase the infection rate of HIV – not to mention other venereal diseases. $10,000 a year is a lot for the taxpayer to fork out. However, I note that many of the drugs used to treat HIV are even more expensive: http://arv.ashm.org.au/arv-guidelines/limitations-to-treatment-safety-and-efficacy/cost-considerations-and-antiretroviral-therapy
    How a cost-benefit analysis will work out is anybody’s guess. One thing is certain: one way or another, the taxpayer is spending a lot to subsidise the homosexual lifestyle. If we want to encourage the use of Truvada, or condoms, or – hell forbid! – chastity, perhaps antiretroviral drugs could be partly removed from the PBS scheme, so that they are required to pay (say) $5,000 a year for the privilege of being kept alive. After all, it’s not as if they have to spend that money on raising a family.

  • Repeal fake marriage

    A day of reckoning is drawing closer for lovers of faggottry. It always does.