Attendees of the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit continued their call for a National PrEP program to address the national health crisis. Approximately 30,000 Americans develop HIV infections every year. PrEP, which stands for Pre Exposure Prophylaxis, is a powerful tool to prevent infections, stopping up to 99% of new cases when take as directed. Yet only one quarter of all people who could benefit from the treatment currently use it. Lack of access to the medication remains a major barrier for many people. Not having insurance or a primary care physician are among the top obstacles to access. A recent federal district court decision nullified the requirement that health plans cover certain preventive services, including PrEP; HIV, STI and hepatitis C screening, at no cost to patients. This decision will significantly worsen cost-related access issues. A study estimated that the ruling would lead to at least 2,000 more HIV cases.
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