Sunday, November 16, 2014

AIDS Orgs Must Disclose All Gilead Grants on Their Sites
(Originally posted at my Facebook campaign site on November 3.)

Recent hearings held by the Board of Supervisors have focused on access to Gilead's HIV drug Truvada for use as a PrEP regimen, but the politicians haven't addressed the price of this drug and Gilead's other HIV and hepatitis medicines.

At the same time, there's been tremendous cheerleading from AIDS service and advocacy organization pushing Truvada as PrEP, and I don't have a problem with that. What I do object to is how AIDS Inc has by and large not demanded lower pricing, and groups receiving Gilead donations have not disclosed financial support from the firm.

It's time to call on our HIV community organizations to create and regularly update transparency pages on their web sites fully disclosing all grants or in-kind gifts from Big Pharma and medical supply companies, and from all corporations. We need to see the amounts given, when they were made and for what purpose they will be used.

In our backyard, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation has received at least $600,000 from Gilead in recent years and their spokesman James Loduca worked for the firm handling public affairs for their HIV drugs (, while IRS 990 filings from Project Inform reveal they've accepted $417,000 from the company ( and also

These two groups have collaborated to create a social marketing campaign promoting Truvada as PrEP, and like their home web sites, the campaign's site omits mention of robust grants from Gilead (

SFAF publishes the BETA newsletter about HIV drug developments and a recent report in it looked at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's ad campaign opposing Truvada for prevention. Nowhere does BETA disclose SFAF received money from Gilead (

In New York City, the Gay Men's Health Crisis has accepted at least $400,000 from Gilead in the past two years and GMHC's Treatment Issues newsletter has also covered Truvada and like BETA failed to disclose the Gilead grants ( GMHC has also organized PrEP rallies and as far as I can determine, at them doesn't make the Gilead grants transparent to participants.

Back in 2011, SFAF, PI and GMHC signed on to an open letter (, addressed to the FDA and Gilead urging prompt review of regulations that would approve Truvada for PrEP and they weren't the only AIDS organizations that had received Gilead money to add their group's name to the letter. Other groups include:

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (;
AIDS Foundation of Chicago (;
AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (;
AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (;
Black AIDS Institute (;
Fenway Health.

And these aren't the only HIV nonprofits raking in Gilead money. According to the Gilead Foundation's IRS 990 filings from 2010 through 2012 (, and 2013 (, the following groups received robust six-figure grants:

AIDS Atlanta, $200,000;
AIDS United, $200,000;
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, $200,000;
Howard Brown Health Center, $400,000;
International AIDS Vaccine Coalition, $200,000;
LA Gay & Lesbian Community Center, $200,000;
Metro Teen AIDS DC, $400,000;
Whitman Walker Clinic, $500,000.

There are dozens of other groups that also accepted Gilead dollars, but in lesser amounts and regardless of the amount, all AIDS nonprofits must become transparent on their sites about the Gilead and all Big Pharma grants.

All medical journals now require financial and conflict of interest disclosures from authors and researchers, which accompanies all articles. We need the same transparency standard from AIDS groups.

If you're pissed off, #VotePetrelis!

1 comment:

Michael Petrelis said...

After posting this to my campaign site, critics pointed out my omission about AIDS Healthcare Foundation taking Gilead money. Here was my reply to them about my previous digging on AHF and holding them to account:

I've hardly given the AIDS Healthcare Foundation a free ride regarding its relationship with Gilead and have done much to make their finances transparent:

In April, I gathered 8 years of IRS 990s from AHF and spoke with Gilead about how much they had given to AHF and the total amount was $10,600,000:

This is about Michael Weinstein's salary:

I obtained the latest IRS 990 directly from AHF because they don't post their tax filings on their site:

This links to my Google docs page where I posted that latest IRS 990:

Read about a protest I organized against AHF at their pharmacy in the Castro: