HIV pill aimed at less fortunate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may just have a daily pill that could prevent HIV, according to the Associated Press.The chemicals in the pill have been tested in monkeys, and after some larger studies, the pills will most likely be “given to people at highest risk of HIV,” such as American gay men and African women, the AP reports.

About 40 million people are predicted to currently have HIV/AIDS, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services. HIV is the most prevalent among Africans, residents of developing countries, and in North America, gay men. But those demographics aren’t the only ones who contract the disease. Women, specifically blacks, are increasingly becoming more affected by the disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the AP article, a federal scientist says that though the CDC thinks more people than just gay men and commonly addressed high-risk groups could get use out of the drug, but it’s not intended for “housewives in Peoria.”

While HIV is a risk than any sexually active person must consider, the government is choosing to serve the people who have historically suffered most from the disease – an example of positive action by the medical world that doesn’t seem to get much press.

Recent headlines have read that health care is becoming less and less accessible to those in lower socioeconomic classes with fewer physicians providing charity care. The company developing the drug, Gilead Sciences,Inc., donated the pills for the studies and is charging 87 cents a pill in poorer countries, according to the AP. Sure, $26 a month to a resident of a developing country may be a lot, but the company is not charging the $650 a month that it would cost an average American.

Think what you will about the health care system, but know that it can benefit those less fortunate and does possess good qualities.

Associate editor Adrienne Lang for the editorial board.