WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its new Ready, Set, PrEP program on Tuesday. The program aims to open access to PrEP for those without insurance.
According to an HHS press release Ready, Set, PrEP is a key component of the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative. EHE aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the United States by 75% in five years and by 90% in 10 years.
“Ready, Set, PrEP is a historic expansion of access to HIV prevention medication and a major step forward in President Trump’s plan to end the HIV epidemic in America,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in the release. “Thanks to Ready, Set, PrEP, thousands of Americans who are at risk for HIV will now be able to protect themselves and their communities. The Trump Administration recognizes the vital role of prevention in ending the HIV epidemic in America, and connecting members of vulnerable communities to prevention services and medication is an important part of the President’s initiative.”
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 (855) 447-8410.
HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center program will support Ready, Set, PrEP by working with healthcare professionals at more than 12,000 service sites and 1,400 health centers nationwide. The agency also said that CVS Health, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have donated their dispensing services.
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, involves daily doses of either Truvada or Descovy to prevent HIV infection.