Direct-To-Consumer Advertisements for HIV Antiretroviral Medications

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertisements for HIV antiretrovirals are controversial and have been criticized in the past for including deceptive images and underplaying HIV drug limitations. The authors sought to describe the state of recent DTC ads for HIV antiretrovirals in popular magazines by performing a content analysis of all complete DTC ads for antiretroviral medications appearing in eight national magazines during a one-year period. Current ads appear to have addressed previous concerns but important problems still exist, such as failing to specify the medication's role in current treatment, to quantify drug efficacy, or to highlight life-threatening side effects.