Lawsuit Prophylaxis

The Castro will be short one lawsuit-happy AIDS pharmacy.

Thrift shoppers in the Castro District have had one less option to choose from ever since the Out of the Closet at Church Street and Duboce Avenue closed in late 2014, along with an attached pharmacy — all of it owned and operated by Los Angeles–based AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

AHF is a sort of lone wolf among AIDS organizations — or, more accurately, it's an outright pariah for unorthodox stances that include a longtime opposition to the HIV-prevention drug Truvada, which is used for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP. (AHF is also the main force behind the recent drama over whether porn performers should be forced to wear goggles and dental dams on-set.)

But none of that mattered when AHF tried to reopen the closed pharmacy at a new location on Castro Street; local zoning rules did. Since AHF has dozens of pharmacies, it's considered “formula retail” under city law — and needed special permission to reopen the pharmacy.

This permission was denied, so the litigious AHF filed suit against the city in 2014. That lawsuit was dismissed, so AHF sued again on April 28, this time seeking $500,000 from the city as well as attorney's fees. This time, there was another problem: As City Attorney Dennis Herrera noted, the suit was filed exactly one day after a 90-day window to sue closed.

Now, the city may pursue “sanctions” from AHF — all because of Leap Year.

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