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HIV Prevention is Now Fully Affordable, at Least in California

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Money is almost always a factor when it comes to finding the medications we need, but thanks to recent legislation and financial assistance programs, PrEP (a once-a-day pill preventing HIV-negative people from contracting the virus) is now either free or fully affordable in most areas. But why doesn’t anyone know this?

It’s time for us to get the facts straight when it comes to PrEP cost.

Currently, most insurance companies and state Medicaid programs cover Truvada for PrEP. While your insurance company might require prior authorization before covering, reports GreaterThan.org, it’s important to check your plan’s formulary beforehand.

Various pharmaceutical companies have Patient Assistance Programs, including Gilead (the maker of Truvada). Detailed instructions on how to gain assistance or to access co-pay assistance programs can be found at NASTAD.org

In fact, a new PrEP Locater has been developed with the help of Emory University that can be used to help people find doctors and clinics in their area who can prescribe Truvada — it has two filters: one that will find locations where you can get PrEP without insurance, and another where you can find PrEP access assistance.

Regardless of all the information at our fingertips, PrEP seems to be something very few doctors talk about. As Plus reported, only one in three doctors even knew about PrEP. In a world where half of all gay and bisexual black men will get HIV in their lifetime, it's time we as people take the initiative over our doctor. 

Plus also reported that Washington state took a bold step in reducing HIV transmission in its state by supplying free PrEP to citizens who fill out an application. Last year, New York Governor Cuomo announced a new PrEP assistance program, which reimburses eligible providers for number of services, including testing, counseling, treatment, and supportive primary care services to link and retain into care high-risk individuals. Additionally, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law legislations that aims to help the state increase awareness of PrEP as an option, which will significantly reduce HIV infections in California — a state proven to have little access in high-risk neighborhoods.

Not to mention, recent studies in London have also shown that generic PrEP bought online is just as legitimate as Truvada, Plus reported. So if going through pharmaceutical companies seems a bit intimidating, a quick click on Amazon can be just as effective.  

The bottom line is this: the only way we will ever reach a world where there are zero HIV infections is by making sure HIV prevention is free for everyone, no matter where you live or how much money you make. With so much financial assistance, money should never be a factor in limiting your health options. That’s a fact. 

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