Day 6

HIV/AIDS shame culture from Gaëtan Dugas to Truvada

Gaëtan Dugas was a Canadian flight attendant who was blamed for bringing AIDS to North America in the 1970's. Now, researchers say they've found new evidence clearing Dugas as 'AIDS patient zero'. Meanwhile, Health Canada has approved a drug called Truvada for HIV prevention. Radio host and author Shaun Proulx says negative reactions to the drug echo the assumptions made in Gaëtan Dugas' story.
A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that men who took the daily antiretroviral pill Truvada significantly reduced their risk of contracting HIV. (Getty Images)

Laura Lynch speaks with radio host and author Shaun Proulx about how the shaming around the HIV prevention drug Truvada echoes the assumptions surrounding "AIDS patient zero"

Shaun Proulx - who is living with HIV - says he's seeing lots of backlash to the drug amongst gay men. He says people who choose to take the drug are being dubbed "Truvada whores".

Truvada is said to lower the chances of contracting HIV by as much as 90%. It has recently been approved by Health Canada.

A team or researchers recently said that Canadian flight attendant Gaetan Dugas was not "AIDS patient zero" - determining that the epidemic had already arrived in the U.S. before Dugas' travels.

Dugas became the poster child for AIDS  and sparked the belief that the virus was only being spread by promiscuous gay men.