Facebook removes misleading advertisements about HIV prevention tools

Facebook has removed a number of advertisements on Monday that gave misleading information about PrEP, a means for preventing HIV, reports Reuters. The advertisements, which were placed by personal injury lawyers, stated that PrEP would cause serious damage to the bones and kidneys of people who used the medicine.

LGBTI organizations and health experts campaigned for months to remove the ads. In addition, they pointed to several studies showing that the substance is safe to use.

The advertisements were viewed millions of times and, according to the organizations, prevented lhbti’ers from using the medication. At the beginning of December, fifty LGBTI, HIV / AIDS and health organizations wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg requesting that the ads be removed.

Facebook initially refused, but still removed some of the ads on Monday. This concerns the advertisements about Truvada, a brand name of PrEP.

“After investigating our fact checkers, we found that some ads contain misleading information about the effects of Truvada,” a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters. “We have therefore rejected the ads and they are no longer visible on Facebook.”

LGBTI organizations want Facebook to take more action

Removing this selection of advertisements is not sufficient, according to organizations. Various organizations are calling on Facebook to remove the other misleading advertisements about HIV prevention tools from the platform.

“Removing the ads is a strong first step, but it is now time for Facebook to take real action and also to address the rest of the similar ads that preach false things about PrEP and HIV prevention,” said Sarah Kate Millis, the director of GLAAD LGBT organization to Reuters.

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