Ready, Set, PrEP Expands Access to Medication to Prevent HIV
The new HHS sponsored program to PREVENT HIV infections called Ready, Set, PrEP. While not perfect in every way, this program shows promise for preventing a disease that is on the rise in our county.
In Butler County, the incidence of HIV has increased 1500% from 2 cases in 2003 to 30 cases in 2018. So far in 2019, 15 cases have been reported. From just 2014-2018, the number of HIV cases in Butler county went up 35%.
In December 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched Ready, Set, PrEP, a national program that makes medications for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), taken daily to prevent HIV, available at no cost to people without prescription drug insurance coverage.
Although more than one million people at risk for HIV in the United States could benefit from PrEP medications, only a small fraction get them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend PrEP for individuals at risk of acquiring HIV. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective at reducing an individual’s risk of acquiring 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. All medications are fully covered for qualifying participants; however, the costs of necessary clinic visits and lab tests may vary depending on an individual’s income. People can find out if they qualify by visiting GetYourPrEP.com exit disclaimer icon or calling toll-free 855-447-8410.
Recognizing the importance of expanded access to HIV PrEP medications, CVS Health, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have donated their dispensing services to HHS. Beginning no later than March 30, 2020, as part of these donations, qualified patients can obtain the PrEP medications at the more than 21,000 combined CVS Health, Walgreens, and Rite Aid locations. Between now and March 30, 2020, patients will be able to access PrEP medications through this program at thousands of participating pharmacies.
Existing health centers eligible to receive supplemental funding to expand HIV prevention services must apply by December 16, 2019. To learn more about eligibility and to apply, visit bphc.hrsa.gov/.
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For Healthcare Professionals