November #41 : Daddy’s Helper - by Scott Hess

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Organizing Inside

Concealed Weapon

Long Day's Journey

Lethal Lottery

Natural Bootleg


One for the Books

Flying Ace

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Hatch a Plan

Signs of Life

The Trouble With Norvir

Engine No. 48,000


To the Editor

None the Wiser

Tomato, Tomahto

Enter at Your Own Risk

Say What

Swim Lessons

Stigma Enigma

Daddy’s Helper

Nushawn on the Block

Privacy Parsed

Equal Protection for All

“Just Say No” to Welfare

Ms. Thurman Goes to Washington

POZ Picks

Show and Tell

The Eye in the Storm

Get Our Phil

POZarazzi: AIDS! The Musical

Verse: Amirah


One for the Books

Flying Ace

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Hatch a Plan

Poetic License

Poetic License

The Vision Thing

Stop the World, I want to Get Off

Surviving Behind the Walls

Prick and Tell

The Bitter End

Draining the Reservoirs

Testosterone Beats Fatigue

Carnitine Boosts CD4s

Multivitamins for Moms

Bleach Works

HIV Med Line

Weight List

Do the Hustle

A Mantra a Day

Attack of the Monster Combo

Helper Cells

He Still Is What He Is

Dark Secrets

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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November 1998

Daddy’s Helper

by Scott Hess

Legislator burns to ban Viagra for PWAs

Alabama state legislator Larry Sims (R-Eastaboga) boned up for re-election votes in August with a cocky campaign kicker: Make it criminal to prescribe the anti-impotency drug Viagra, or any other sexual aid, to PWAs. “Viagra enhances the ability of an individual to spread the AIDS virus,” said Sims, also a registered nurse. “And saying that the use of a condom is a safe way to stop the spread of AIDS is more irresponsible than prescribing Viagra.” His plan would not stop at married or monogamous couples, he said, as there is no guarantee of the Viagra-user’s faithfulness. Sims, who also wants to ban state Medicaid coverage of Viagra even though federal rules require it, said that while he has no stiff evidence, he is “reasonably sure” that some Alabama AIDS clinics are prescribing the penis-perking pill to PWAs—and that, he said, is “gross malpractice.”

The nutty news came as the demand for Pfizer’s Viagra softened (’scrips dropped to 184,312 in July from a peak of 303,424 in May, though it remains one of the nation’s hottest-selling drugs, set to reach $1 billion in its first year), controversy sizzled around insurance reimbursements, and 39 Viagra-related deaths (including men who used it with poppers) hit the wire.

ASOs such as New York City’s GMHC have held educational forums to address the pill’s interaction with anti-HIV meds, antidepressants and recreational drugs. Another topic: implications of increased sexual activity for HIV prevention. GMHC prevention pro Richard Elovich said that Viagra vexations are based largely on “homophobic mythology.” Most attendees were “HIV positive men who experienced sexual dysfunction as a result of protease drugs or being ill—not men interested in using Viagra to party and have more sex.”

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