Here are eight of the most common misconceptions and myths that should be set straight now. Pictured: A sign for free HIV testing is seen outside a Walgreens pharmacy in Times Square Getty Images/Mario Tama

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in challenging a pharmaceutical executive last week during congressional hearings, promoted the urgency of universal health care, pointing out an HIV prevention drug is sold for $8 in Australia, which has universal health care, while the same medicine costs $1,780 in the U.S., which does not have universal health care.

In a tense exchange with Gilead Sciences (GILD) CEO Daniel O’Day, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed with the executive that $50 million of the underlying research for the company’s Truvada for PrEP medication was paid for by U.S. taxpayers. She also confirmed the stock-traded company made $3 billion in worldwide revenue from the drug in 2018. When asked why pricing was so disparate between Australia and the U.S., O’Day said Truvada has patent protection in the U.S. while the rest of the world has access to the same medication as a generic.

Ocasio-Cortez interrupted the executive and said, “So I think it’s important that we notice here, that we the public, we the people, developed this drug. We paid for this drug, we led and developed all the grounding patents to create PrEP, and then that patent has been privatized, despite the fact that the patent is owned by the public, we refuse to enforce it,” she continued.

Finally, she added, “We own the core intellectual property for it, and as a result people are dying for no reason, for no reason.”

Before Ocasio-Cortez responded to O’Day’s confirmation of the origin of the research, the cost of the drug outside of the country, and the revenue generated by Truvada, which is almost solely based on taxpayer-paid research, O’Day said Truvada will be available as a generic by September 2020. If 2018 Gilead revenues are any indication, the company will generate nearly $6 billion in revenue before the drug is available at the lower generic price.

The call by Ocasio-Cortez for universal health care buttresses similar messages from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, both Democratic presidential hopefuls, who have pushed the idea of Medicare-for-all as part of their platforms.

The White House, however, is of a completely different mind. President Trump blasted Medicare-for-all last October, when he argued, "Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare." He added, "Likewise, Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care."

The president provided no evidence of these potential outcomes.

PrEP, or Pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an HIV prevention drug that HIV-negative people can take to minimize the risk of becoming infected if they are later exposed to the virus. In 2016, roughly 15,807 deaths were associated with HIV in the U.S. and six dependent commonwealths or protectorates, including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Palau, the Northern Mariana and U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the Center for Disease Control.

As of 2017, there are 36.9 million people around the world living with the HIV virus and about 21.7 million receiving medications to treat HIV. The disease remains a serious health issue. Africa is hardest hit by HIV and AIDS, accounting for about 66% of all new infections, the CDC reported. Latin America and the Caribbeans are other regions in the Western Hemisphere that are significantly affected.