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41 HIV, PrEP patients sue Gilead

They claim pharmaceutical company sought profits over patient health

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(Gilead logo)

Pharmaceutical giant Gilead was hit with a lawsuit filed by 41 people from 12 states on April 11 who allege they suffered bone and/or kidney damage after taking Gilead’s tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, (TDF). The personal injury suit, filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, alleges the pharmaceutical company knew in 2001 that TDF was “highly toxic in the doses prescribed and risked permanent and possibly fatal damage to the kidneys and bones” —and that there was a safer alternative.

“More and more plaintiffs are coming forward to tell their stories of how they have been harmed by Gilead’s practice of putting profits over patient health,” said Liza Brereton with HIV Litigation Attorneys.

The suit is part of an ongoing effort to hold Gilead accountable for its alleged failure to rectify a known defect in the drug formulation of TDF, knowing that a safer alternate existed—tenofovir alafenamide (TAF). Additionally, AIDS Healthcare Foundation spokesperson Ged Kenslea told the Los Angeles Blade, the suit also includes Gilead’s failure to warn patients of TDF’s damaging side effects and its active misrepresentation of TDF’s efficacy and substantial risks. AHF is paying for the litigation and only seeks legal costs in return.

“Gilead had their safer alternative available and suppressed it in a malicious deliberate way for over 15 years just so they could maximize and extend the profits on TDF,” Kenslea said.

The suit also asserts that Gilead deliberately and maliciously kept information about TAF quiet to extend its patent, FDA exclusivity, and sales of its existing medications, including TDF. Gilead netted over $18 billion in profit in 2015.

The lawsuit alleges that “thousands and thousands of HIV/AIDS patients may have been unwittingly exposed to significant kidney and bone damage from TDF” during their antiretroviral drug regimens. Additionally, “many HIV-negative individuals seeking to prevent HIV acquisition may have suffered similar harm to their kidneys or bones from taking Truvada as part of their PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) protocol.”

Gilead sells TDF under the brand name Viread. TDF is also a component of Gilead’s Truvada.

“Gilead knowingly continued selling a drug that had debilitating side effects while keeping a safer version in the wings until the patent on the first, more dangerous version had been exhausted. In other words, Gilead allowed serious injuries to occur so they could make a few more bucks before releasing a safer version,” prominent AIDS activist and “My Fabulous Disease” blogger Mark S. King told the Los Angeles Blade. “Meanwhile, Gilead continues to own our governmental and community-based HIV response lock, stock, and barrel by throwing endless cash at national organizations that should have our best interests at heart. Gilead’s behavior has been truly vile.”

King added: “I have been critical of AHF in the past for the quickness to sue, primarily other HIV organizations with which they differed. But this lawsuit is righteous and I hope they win, big time.”

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Los Angeles County

Heat Advisory issued as temps expected to be in triple digits

LA County will see hot & breezy conditions Monday. High temperatures will reach 90 degrees. Temperatures at night will fall to 64 degrees

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory warning for most of Southern California on Monday. Temperatures while remaining lower in the 80s and 70s in the coastal areas are expected to exceed triple-digits for most of the inland areas in the region.

Los Angeles and Orange counties will see hot and breezy conditions Monday. High temperatures will reach 90 degrees. Temperatures at night will fall to 64 degrees.

The valleys and Inland Empire will be very hot and windy Monday as temperatures soar to 105 degrees. Evening temperatures will drop to 72 degrees.

Beaches will see temperatures rising to 78 degrees amid breezy conditions on Monday. Overnight lows will dip to 64 degrees.

Look for a 20% chance of thunderstorms in the mountain communities on Monday, with temperatures reaching a high of 89 degrees. Temperatures will fall to 55 degrees at night.

Desert conditions will be sunny and windy on Monday, with temperatures expected to rise to 104 degrees. Nighttime temperatures will drop to 69 degrees.

Detailed Forecast

Today

Sunny and hot, with a high near 106. East northeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming north northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Tonight

Clear, with a low around 69. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east northeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Tuesday

Sunny and hot, with a high near 104. Southeast wind around 10 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

Tuesday Night

Clear, with a low around 68. West northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east southeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday

Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. East southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday Night

Clear, with a low around 62. Breezy.

Thursday

Sunny, with a high near 94.

Thursday Night

Clear, with a low around 58.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 92.

Friday Night

Clear, with a low around 57.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 90.

Saturday Night

Clear, with a low around 56.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 89.

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Orange County

Right-wing news anchor delivers obscenity-laden homophobic rant

“Guess what I came home to be greeted with? This fucking bullshit. [points to Rainbow Pride flag] What the hell is that?”

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Alison Steinberg (Screenshot/Twitter-Ron Filipkowski)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Ca. – Alison Steinberg, an anchor and contributor for right-wing extremist media outlet One America News, launched into an obscenity-laden rant captured in a now viral video over an LGBTQ+ Pride flag flying in the beachfront business district of Huntington Beach commemorating Pride Month.

Steinberg had originally posted her video to her Instagram account but it was later removed.

In the rant Steinberg is heard saying: “And guess what I came home to be greeted with? This fucking bullshit. [points to Rainbow Pride flag] What the hell is that? Huntington Beach is the town of good old-fashioned hard-working American people, much less human. People who worked all through the COVID lockdown. Yes, that’s right. Huntington Beach never shut down through any of the COVID nonsense fuckery. And now we’re peddling this garbage?”

“What the hell is this? The only flag that should be up there is that American flag. This is a disgrace to our city and it should be taken down immediately. Whoever the hell is running this town needs to be fired. Make America great again. Make Huntington Beach great.”

Ron Filipkowski, a defense lawyer and former Assistant United States Attorney had captured the video and uploaded it to his Twitter account where many of his 402.9K followers retweeted it:

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Southern California

Triple A: Gas Prices Drop on Increased Production, Economic Worries

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.38, which is six cents lower than last week

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – Gas prices dropped as local refineries reported their second-highest California-blend gasoline production levels of 2022 and economic concerns pushed down oil prices, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $6.38, which is six cents lower than last week.

The average national price is $4.94, which is seven cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $6.40 per gallon, which is six cents lower than last week, 30 cents higher than last month, and $2.14 higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $6.32, which is five cents lower than last week, 30 cents higher than last month, and $2.09 higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $6.32, which is three cents lower than last week, 29 cents higher than last month and is $2.10 higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $6.29, which is four cents lower than last week, 30 cents higher than last month and $2.11 higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $6.36 average price is the same as last Thursday, 36 cents higher than last month and $2.22 higher than a year ago today.

“The state’s refineries produced more California-blend gasoline last week than in any other week since January of this year, according to the California Energy Commission,” said Auto Club spokesman Doug Shupe. “At the same time, Oil Price Information Service says concerns about the U.S. economy are pushing down oil and wholesale gasoline prices.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers they can save money on gasoline by shopping around virtually using a tool like the AAA Mobile app, which shows users the cheapest gas prices near them. AAA members can also take advantage of discounted gas prices at participating Shell gas stations by joining the Shell Fuel Rewards® program.

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on June 23, averages are:

June 23
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