As part of the Trump administration's
new HIV initiative, the government plans to offer free PrEP to people
who are uninsured.
On Sunday, World AIDS Day, President
Donald Trump promised to “eradicate AIDS in 10 years.” The
president said that his Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for
America initiative would “save the lives of individuals living
with HIV by focusing on the cities and states most impacted by the
World AIDS Day proclamation again omits LGBT people.)
On Tuesday, Secretary of Health &
Human Services Alex Azar announced the “Ready, Set, PrEP” program
in a conference call with reporters.
“The president's HIV initiative is a
huge opportunity to make an impact on Americans' health and
well-being,” Azar said. “We have the tools to stop the spread of
HIV in its tracks. Now it's about execution.”
Azar said that the department has set
up a hotline (855-447-8410) and website (GetYourPrEP.com) for people
to sign up for the program. He said people who have no prescription
drug insurance, are HIV negative, and have a valid prescription for
PrEP should apply.
According to the Centers for Disease
Control (CDC), an estimated 1.2 million people are at risk of
contracting HIV. New infections continue at roughly 100 people per
day in the United States.
Azar said that the new program would
help reduce stigma around HIV by “raising rates of PrEP use,
helping Americans take care of themselves and take control of their
New York City recently credited its $23
million PrEP program for a dramatic drop in new HIV infections in the
city. The city reported a 67 percent decline from the number of cases
reported in 2001.
The cost of PrEP in the United States –
nearly $2,000 a month – has been a major hurdle to expanding its
adoption. The drug costs as little as $6 per month in other
countries. Azar said that the government was paying $200 per bottle.