Nurx, the revolutionary app that has made birth control more affordable and accessible, is now doing the same for PrEP. The progressive company, which launched its app at the end of 2015, recently announced that will offer delivery of Truvada, a drug used as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV, reports Bustle.com.
Truvada, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012, is 90 percent effective in preventing HIV transmission during sex (and 70 percent effective in preventing transmission through sharing drug-injection needles), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A recent study conducted by University of California showed even more promising results. Of the 657 people who took Truvada daily during the two and a half year study period, not one had acquired HIV.
Unfortunately, despite its level of effectiveness, PrEP is still grossly underused. According to the CDC, 1.2 million people in this country should be on PrEP, but only about 21,000 are actually on it.
Hans Gangeskar, co-founder and CEO of Nurx say there are three major reasons for this discrepancy—the continued stigma around HIV, the lack of knowledge and awareness about PrEP, and that there is “also a shortage of doctors who will prescribe it.”
This is precisely why the Nurx app is so revolutionary. It eliminates the need to have to see a doctor and pharmacist in person, which may hold many people back from getting on PrEP due to fear, embarrassment, or past negative experiences with healthcare providers. By making PrEP much more accessible, the app could prevent thousands of HIV transmissions per year.
“Each year, more than 40,000 Americans are infected with HIV,” said Dr. Edvard Engesaeth, Gangeskar’s other co-founder, in a press release. “However, studies show that if taken daily, Truvada for PrEP can significantly reduce the chances of transmission of the virus,” explains Engesaeth. “Our app makes Truvada more accessible for people who need this revolutionary drug.”