PrEP is to be provided for free to people without insurance in the United States.
The new program is called Ready, Set, PrEP and has been unveiled by the Department of Health and Human Services in an attempt to expand both access and use of the HIV-preventative drug.
It’s been estimated that over the next 10 years, more than 200,000 people per year will benefit from receiving PrEP under the new program.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, more commonly referred to as PrEP, is an anti-retroviral drug taken by HIV-negative people which, if used consistently, can help to dramatically reduce the risk of acquiring the virus.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Preventitve Services Task Force recommend PrEP for individuals at risk of acquiring HIV.
The announcement comes as part of the Ending The HIV Epidemic: A Plan For America initiative, which aims to reduce the number of new HIV transmissions in the United States by 90% by 2030.
“Ready, Set, PrEP is a historic expansion of access to HIV prevention medication and a major step forward in President Trump’s plan to end the HIV epidemic in America,” said Alex Azar, secretary of health and human services.
“Thanks to Ready, Set, PrEP, thousands of Americans who are at risk for HIV will now be able to protect themselves and their communities.
“The Trump Administration recognises the vital role of prevention in ending the HIV epidemic in America, and connecting members of vulnerable communities to prevention services and medication is an important part of the President’s initiative.”
The medication is being made available by pharmaceutical giant Gilead, which announced in May that it would donate 2.4 million bottles of Truvada annually for uninsured Americans at risk of HIV.
To qualify for Ready, Set, PrEP, people must test negative for HIV, have a valid prescription for the medications, and not have prescription drug coverage.
While the PrEP medication will be made available for free through the program, it’s been noted that clinic visits and lab test costs are not covered, and will vary depending on the individual’s income.
A new website – getyourprep.com – has been launched to help people access PrEP.
It’s worth pointing out that Trump’s record on LGBTQ rights and HIV/AIDS has been terrible – he’s failed to mention the LGBTQ community in his World AIDS Day proclamations, and fired entire White House Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
Last month, his son Donald Trump Jr. was blasted for making an ignorant comment about people living with HIV on Twitter just a week before World AIDS Day.