There are many reasons why so many gay and bisexual men are hesitant to take the steps necessary to start pre-exposure prophylaxis, the HIV-prevention method better known as PrEP. Whether it’s because of stigma, access, or cost, there many high-risk individuals who have yet to be prescribed the HIV prevention pill that’s 99 percent effective at reducing the risk of HIV when taken correctly. Now, one California-based company is making it easier for folks to get PrEP by offering a delivery service that cuts out the doctor’s office and makes PrEP a few finger taps away.
Nurx, a San Francisco start-up often described as “Uber for birth control,” has expanded its services to offer PrEP to patients in California and New York. Users of the service will be able to obtain a prescription for PrEP through a mobile app without having to visit a doctor’s office. Instead, the user can fill out a health survey, which is then evaluated by a doctor remotely to determine if he or she is a good candidate.
“It’s really difficult for people who want PrEP to get PrEP,” said Hans Gangeskar, one of Nurx’s co-founder. He said that stigma and a lack of information are some of the biggest reasons for the lack of widespread adoption of PrEP, as well as a shortage of doctors who will prescribe the drug.
After the user completes the necessary blood tests to determine HIV status and renal functions, he or she is cleared for use and can begin accessing the PrEP delivery service. The patient will then continue to communicate with Nurx’s doctors by phone or text.
“People have concerns about going to the doctor and talking about anal sex or having to justify not using condoms,” Gangeskar said in an interview with The Guardian. “You’re able to ask questions that you wouldn’t ask face to face.”
To find out about more about Nurx, visit here.