Frank Ocean is catching heat for promoting his new LGBT+ nightclub by selling $60 t-shirts featuring HIV drug PrEP on the front.
The 31-year-old singer launched his first LGBT+ nightclub in New York City called PrEP+, which is named after the antiviral medication taken by MSM – men who have sex with men – to prevent HIV transmission.
The T-shirts went on sale on Ocean’s website following Thursday’s launch of the PrEP+ club party Ocean hosted in New York City.
Ocean also promoted the sale of the t-shirts on his Twitter page @blondedocean. “Tee’s also come in a black colorway,” he tweeted.
Tee’s also come in a black colorway pic.twitter.com/883TOp1Gp7
— Blonded. (@blondedocean) October 19, 2019
Critics took issue with the high cost of the cotton t-shirts: $60. An activist with the New York chapter of Act Up, an HIV/AIDS advocacy group, tweeted Saturday that the shirt’s price tag is reminiscent of the steep mark-up of the PrEP drug by pharmaceutical company Truvada.
A $60 tee with “PrEP” on it.
Sounds familiar to a pharmaceutical company that marks up the price of PrEP to over $2,000/month while it costs $6 to make a month supply. This is not it Frank.”
The activist also suggested Ocean should donate the proceeds for the shirt to HIV/AIDS advocacy groups such as Act Up.
Coulda also been thoughtful if all the funds went to service providers, PrEP navigators, and HIV justice and treatment orgs, but who asked us?”
Others chimed in, asking Ocean if he planned to donate the proceeds to companies that give out PrEP for free.
frank ocean selling shirts that say prep on them for $60 like ummmmm are you using the profits to donate to orgs that give out prep for free???? bc otherwise yikes my dude!”
Another Twitter user wrote:
“But sure, let’s have Frank Ocean use a pill millions can’t afford to promo new music at a fake queer party and to sell $65 shirts”.