Gay men: would you be offended if ...

So I’m stuck with almost a month’s worth of Crixivan and Combivir, two drugs used to treat HIV.

I’ve called the local AIDS Task Force and I’m hoping that they will be able to take them off my hands. They’re in pristine condition (one bottle hasn’t even been opened), extremely expensive and I don’t want to flush 'em if someone out there needs them.

If they can’t take them, though, I was thinking of asking a friend of mine if he knows anyone who takes this stuff.

Yeah, my friend’s gay. Yes, I know that not all gay men have HIV. However I don’t personally know anyone (or even know OF anyone) who has it, but since HIV is pretty common among the gay community, maybe my friend (the only gay person I know very well) knows someone.

Would you be offended if someone in a situation such as mine asked you if you knew anyone who could use the meds?

I would not be offended at all. I commend you for trying to help other people.

I happen to know a guy with AIDS.

It’s logical, gay people know other gay people - and some gay guys have AIDS.


I would not be offended at your offer, although I can see how someone might be. The perception of “Gay = HIV+” is still a sensitive point among many, especially those old enough to remember the dark days of the '80s, during the time when HIV was called the “gay plague”.

You do know that distributing prescription medication (even your own) is illegal, right?

Gee, I had no idea, Bright. :wink:

You want I should flush over a thousand bucks down the drain, rather than help somebody out for almost a month?

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but the problem is prescription drugs is they can produce side effects which can be dangerous or have potentially lethal interactions with other drugs. That friend of mine who lives in your neck of the woods was once given a prescription for two drugs for a simple case of the flu which, if taken together as prescribed could have proved fatal (the pharmacist at Walmart caught the mistake). I’m not a lawyer, but from what I’ve read, if you give someone your prescription medication and they have side effects from it which are severe enough that they require hospitalization, you could be sued and arrested.

Are you sure there aren’t any local charities you could go through? Perhaps hospitals in the area may know of some? You might also check with some of the more liberal Christian denominations down there. I know the Episcopal Church does quite a bit in hospitals for people who can’t afford healthcare. Here’s a link to your diocesan home page. They have a section on ministries with contact information. I’d do the same for other denominations, but I’m less sure of how to find them and (yipes!) I’m about to be late for work!

Good luck, but please, be careful,

I wouldn’t say it’s “pretty common”–heck, I’m gay and I don’t know anyone who has HIV or AIDS.

That said, I wouldn’t be offended, just impressed by your thoughfulness.

I would be looking for people who are already under treatment and have already been prescribed these drugs. Then, they’re just getting a free month’s worth. I certainly think there’ll be some takers. * Angels in America * covered the topic. There’s a lot of people out there who can’t afford their treatment. Good on you. I hope you find someone who can use them.

The place I called took 'em, and when I got there they were going through other donated meds so I guess I’m not the only one.

And the first thing they did was rip my name off the labels so I feel pretty comfortable about the whole thing.

Good deal. If I’m not being to nosey, may I ask how you came into possession of the drugs?

Good for you Abbie. I had a very close friend die from AIDS, and if it wasn’t for the kindness of some strangers, he would not have gotten his meds every few months.


As stated in the OP

Sorry…I missed the link.

After my father died, I ended up with an over three months supply of his drugs and we still haven’t found any place that can use them. 80 mg Zocor is the biggie. I can’t stand the thought of throwing them away. Heck, I don’t even know how I’m supposed to throw them away. Aren’t there rules about what you do with prescription drugs?

I’m glad your story had a happy ending Abbie.

Abbie, I’m glad it was easy to find a place that took them, it would’ve been a real shame to have to toss them. BTW, jsgoddess or anyone who has expired medecine or medecine that needs to be disposed of, please don’t flush them down the drain. Put them in the trash. It’s better for the environment to have them end up in a landfill than in the wastewater, where some of the chemicals pass through the sewage treatment process unchanged. We’re starting to see the affects of the presence of these drugs on the aquatic life and it ain’t pretty.

Most retail pharmacy locations will also take unused meds and dispose of them as well- just call and ask.

My SO’s doctor takes back any un-used medicines from his patients.
He sends them to an organization that donates them to places like Bosnia where medicine is hard to get, or too expensive.

And would I have been offended if you had asked me? No.

I wouldnt see a problem if someone is already taking that exact med…aafter all, hubby and i swap bottles of meds back and forth all the time - we both have pain issues, and have a few scripts in common, so if he hasnt been to pick up his meds and runs short he will grab out of my bottle, and widershins.

I am extremely @nal about checking and rechecking my meds. I had a purported doctor at the sub base in new london prescribe penicillian for me, despite the shocking pink folder with penicillin in huge letters all over it, with over 2 inches of paperwork … not something I would think is particularly inconspicuous=)

I think that it was a thoughtful thing to do…

My doctor accepts donations of drugs people don’t use any more and gives them to patients who can’t afford to buy prescriptions… He also works with People with AIDS in Africa, so he may bring them there too… I’m not really sure…

This Gay man commends you :slight_smile:

As someone in a serodiscordant relationship, I know about these things first-hand. Let me tell you a little something:

There exists an HIV/AIDS “underground railroad” of sorts. It began when the disease first appeared, because of lack of government funding and recognition - Reagan didn’t even utter the word “AIDS” in public until 1987, fully six years after the first cases of KS and PCP were reported to the CDC. Until AZT in 1987, there were no drugs. None. PWAs tried everything, including some experimental treatments, like suramin, that proved lethal. And even with the arrival of AZT (which, I should add, had been around since the late 1960s), it was a shoddy treatment at best, given in toxic doses, and nothing like the revolutionary HAART therapy that today we call “the cocktail.”

These drugs, and news of drug trials, travelled through the AIDS underground railroad. It was the relentless screaming of PWAs that forced the FDA’s hand in approving new HIV/AIDS treatments.

And even today, drugs are shipped - sometimes illegally - from one doctor to another, or to Africa, for example. If a doctor’s got a half a bottle of Videx and his patient who’s on it can’t afford his or her monthly script, guess who gets the Videx? It isn’t disposed of by a pharmacy. These drugs are motherhumping expensive. I don’t want to get overly political, but the pharmaceutical companies learned early on that HIV disease was a cash cow, especially since - like antidepressants and cholesterol drugs - these are “on it for life” drugs. Throwing out non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors and fusion inhibitors is a nail in the coffin of every PWA out there who has to half his or her dose because they just can’t afford their monthly meds - if they have the meds at all.

Because of government inaction, and then resistance, HIV doctors also learned quickly that they had to fudge things such as disability claims, so that their patients wouldn’t fall through the cracks. This change happened mainly when doctors stopped treating wasting and death, and started treating a manageable chronic disease.

Anyway, to answer the question of the OP, I would not be offended. We say that HIV disease is not a gay disease, but first of all, a lot of poz people are gay men, and second, gay people have been so educated up the wazoo about HIV/AIDS and hopefully know enough about available resources that they would hopefully know what organization to contact to donate the unused drugs.

My mother ran into a similar problem when my father passed away. He left behind many medical supplies (mostly ostomy bags and the like), most of which were sealed and perfectly usable. I believe she contacted either the Salvation Army, a retirement home, or the hospital where my father was treated to see if someone could take them away and put them to good use.

Good thinking, Abbie.