The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched Ready, Set, PrEP, a national program that makes “PrEP” medications, taken daily to prevent HIV, available at no cost to people without prescription drug insurance coverage.
Duval County is one of the 57 jurisdictions identified as “geographic hot spots,” the target areas for the president’s initiative, according to a news release. The other target areas in Florida are Broward, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, and Pinellas counties.
EHE aims to reduce the number of new HIV transmissions in the United States by 75% in five years and by 90% in 10 years.
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By increasing awareness of PrEP and its access, the Ready, Set, PrEP program can provide thousands of people a safe, effective way to prevent HIV and bring our nation one step closer to ending the HIV epidemic.
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.
“PrEP is highly effective in preventing HIV infection when taken as directed,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. Giroir, M.D. “It is a critical tool for ending the HIV epidemic, but to make an impact it has to be available for people who need it most. Ready, Set, PrEP will increase access to this effective and preventive drug for people at risk.”
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 or calling toll-free 855-447-8410.
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 more than 21,000 locations or through mail order all at no cost to patients.
CVS Health, Walgreens, and Rite Aid will also provide patient counseling and take steps to promote patient adherence to the regimen.
To learn more about PrEP’s role in ending the HIV epidemic, visit Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America. For an explanation of how the program works and more information about HIV/ AIDS prevention, testing, treatment, and research, visit HIV.gov.
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