Facebook removes misleading ads about HIV prevention meds


Facebook has disabled some ads that incorrectly claimed Truvada, an HIV prevention medication, can cause bone and kidney damage, according to a Dec. 30 Washington Post report.

The ads, which were purchased by personal-injury lawyer affiliated pages, stated that the two applications of Truvada, commonly known as PrEP, can cause kidney and bone damage to individuals who take the drug. However, the preventive form of PrEP has been publicly labeled as safe and "highly effective" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the publication.

PrEP can be used for both HIV prevention and treatment, and research has found that the side effects typically only occur among patients who use the drug for treatment. Organizations including GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign "said the ads threatened to scare patients away from a critical drug," the Post reports.

The LGBTQ advocates began calling for Facebook to remove the ads in September. The social media giant initially refused to take the ads down, deferring to a team of third-party fact checkers to determine the accuracy of the ads.

Since Dec. 30, Facebook has begun labeling some of the ads as rule violations in its archive, which limits visibility of the ads on the social media platform.

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