February 19, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Open Letter to FB Demands Removal of “Factually Inaccurate” Lawsuit Ads Attacking HIV Medication

Dozens of LGBTQ+, HIV and public health organizations have signed an open letter calling on Facebook to remove law firm ads that promote “factually inaccurate” side effects of HIV-prevention medication Truvada, a type of PrEP prescription. 

“The signers of this letter, including members of Facebook’s LGBTQ Network of Support, request that Facebook and Instagram remove the advertisements and also publicly address the misinformation that the platforms allowed to spread,” the letter states.

Various law firms used the social media platform’s targeting advertising capabilities to recruit LGBTQ+ med for a class-action lawsuit against Gilead Science, the manufacturer of Truvada. 

“This issue goes beyond misinformation, as it puts real people’s lives in imminent danger,” the letter states. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that when taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex or injection drug use.” 

Screenshot courtesy GLAAD

The open letter states that lawsuit advertised claims bone density and kidney issues, despite numerous studies supporting the safety of these preventative drugs. According to the CDC, PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV from sex by 99% when taken correctly. 

“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 letter states. “You are harming public health.”

NBC News reported that a Facebook spokesperson said that the company values its “work with LGBTQ groups” and both welcomes and seeks out the community’s input.    

“While these ads do not violate our ad policies nor have they been rated false by third-party fact-checkers, we’re always examining ways to improve and help these key groups better understand how we apply our policies,” the spokesperson wrote, according to NMC News.

The open letter states that the signers reached out to Facebook about the advertisements, but an agreement could not be reached.

“Given the history of how our community was met by deadly indifference during the early years of the AIDS crisis, the refusal to take action is deeply concerning,” the letter states. Since a resolution was not reached, immediate action must be taken by Facebook to ameliorate the harm which has already been caused to those who may be seeking preventative treatment against HIV.

The co-signatories of the open letter listed the following demands:

  • Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health.
  • Facebook and Instagram be transparent with users and the LGBTQ community on their advertising policy around misinformation which states that “in certain circumstances” Facebook prohibits ads that include “claims debunked by organizations with particular expertise.”
  • Facebook commits to a review and potential update of current advertising policies to prevent false or misleading public health statements from reaching users.

Co-signers of the December 9 open letter included GLAAD, APLA Health, the Trevor Project and dozens more. To read the full open letter, click HERE

Related Posts

Transgender Care Services Coming to Baldwin Park

February 18, 2020

February 18, 2020

By Staff Writer A new Planned Parenthood center opening soon in Baldwin Park will provide transgender care services to a...

Texas Files Suit Against California’s Travel Ban to State

February 18, 2020

February 18, 2020

Texas asks U.S. Supreme Court to overturn California’s travel ban to Texas By Sam Catanzaro Texas is asking the U.S....

WeHo Opens Nominations For 2020 Rainbow Key Awards

February 18, 2020

February 18, 2020

Nominations will be Accepted Until Thursday, February 27 By Staff Writer The City of West Hollywood is gathering nominations for...

News Brief: Calls for LGBTQ CA Supreme Court Judge

February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

Sen. Scott Winer and Assemblymember Todd Gloria introduce send letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom By Kerry Slater Two prominent state...

Addressing LA’s Increase in Syphilis

February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

Legislation introduced to allow expanded rapid testing By Chole Marie Rivera February 4, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced legislation...

Cirque Du Soleil Presents Equality Night at Dodger Stadium

February 12, 2020

February 12, 2020

Proceeds benefiting Los Angeles LGBT Center By Chole Marie Rivera On Thursday, February 13 Cirque Du Soleil hosted Equality Night,...

Edify TV: LGBTQIA+ Health Conference

February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

Learn more about the annual Southern California LGBTQIA+ Health Conference that was held last weekend at the David Geffen School of...

LGBTQ+ Representation in the Entertainment Industry

February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

Continuing its commitment to lead the push for diversity, equality and inclusion of quality LGBTQ+ content in entertainment, ClexaCon is...

City of WeHo Commits More Funds Toward LA Pride

February 10, 2020

February 10, 2020

By Chole Rivera The 50th Annual L.A. Pride is on the horizon and the City of West Hollywood recently took...

Man Charged for Series of LGTBQ Attacks in Culver City

February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020

Joshua Immanuel Ebow charged for Culver City and West Los Angeles attacks By Sam Catanzaro A former delivery driver has...

Honoring National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the ONE Archive

February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is on Friday, February 7. In the LGBTQ+ community, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects gay black men...

Trans Flag Emoji Unveiled for More Cyber-Inclusion

January 31, 2020

January 31, 2020

Transgender texters, rejoice! For there is finally an emoji there for you!  Unicode Consortium, the company that sets industry standard...

LGBT Center to Host Groundbreaking Conference for LGBT Widows and Widowers in L.A.

January 30, 2020

January 30, 2020

Renowned Designer, Author, Advocate Nate Berkus to Give Keynote Address On Saturday, February 29, the Los Angeles LGBT Center will host...

LGBTQ Center of LB Announces 2020 Executive Team for Board of Directors

January 29, 2020

January 29, 2020

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach recently announced its new executive team to lead the organization’s 2020 Board of Directors.  Stella...

Public Outcry Temporarily Saves Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STD, HIV Services

January 28, 2020

January 28, 2020

The temporary agreement restores funding through the end of March. The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced today that it has...