Several companies recently received official warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to stop selling over-the-counter products that make false claims about treating and preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
“There are no, no, NO consumer products and dietary supplements to treat [sexually transmitted infections] that are available over the counter,” said the FDA's Howard Sklamberg. The only real way to treat an STI is by taking medicine that is prescribed by an actual doctor, ensuring that it's FDA-approved.
Warning letters were sent to 12 companies telling them that selling products that claim to treat or cure STIs such as herpes, HIV, AIDS, chlamydia and genital warts is a federal violation. Each company was given 15 days to clean up their act and let the FDA know what changes they've made to correct all violations sited in their letter. All of these products are sold in stores and online and have never been tested by the FDA to see if they work or are even safe. If any of the companies don’t make the changes they could lose all of their products and be prosecuted.
With African-Americans having significantly higher rates of contracting STIs than any other ethnicity, most of them under the age of 24, it's important to get these unpredictable drugs off the street. If these drugs are left on the market they could easily contribute to the further spread of STIs within the Black community by giving infected individuals a false sense of security.
(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty)
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