It’s incredible to imagine that medical advances have given us such large opportunities to prevent HIV contraction. Twenty years ago, PrEP might have sounded like science fiction. These days, not only is it a gift from the scientific community but it’s quite possibly one of the greatest innovations of the 21stcentury for HIV prevention.
When taken daily by someone who is HIV-negative, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) makes it impossible to contract the virus from HIV-positive sex partners. Truvada, the only U.S. FDA-approved drug to be used as PrEP, is widely available but there are many men and women who don’t know how to access the drug at low cost. Here are a few ways to find it:
Gilead Advancing Access Program:
If you’re unable to pay for Truvada, this program may be able to help. For those with commercial insurance, one way is through a co-pay coupon card through the Gilead Advancing Access program. If eligible, the coupon covers up to $7,200 in co-pays per year with no monthly limit for Truvada.
Those enrolled in government healthcare programs like Medicaid, Medicare, or VA, aren’t eligible for the program, however they can be eligible for other support resources through independent co-pay foundation. Those who don’t have insurance should check out the Medication Assistance Program, which supplies free PrEP to those who qualify.
Certain local health departments, doctor’s offices, and organizations like Planned Parenthood and GMHC not only provide free testing for STIs but they’ll also supply you with PrEP facts and direct you to workers who will work with your current situation and guide you through proper steps to get free or affordable PrEP. The staff will help you apply for health insurance or assistance programs.
For New Yorkers, NY Health clinics are truly a God-send. They offer free counseling, testing, and one-on-one consulting for those who are interested in PrEP (be prepared to stay at least an hour, though).
Patient Assistance Programs
Foundations and agencies offer great patient assistance programs that will help you find resources to cover the cost of PrEP. Some even help you cover the whole thing!
PrEPLocator.org makes it easy by implementing an easy-to-use PrEP finder that allows users to locate the nearest facility that connects seekers to PrEP resources.
PleasePrEPme.org allows you to chat virtually with navigators who are available to answer any of your questions as it pertains to insurance, FAQs, and other queries you might have about Truvada. They’ll break it down to specifics.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance will help you link up with assistance programs. Those who are on government insurance plans (Medicare, Medicaid) will benefit highly, especially if you’re looking for copay assistance.
Patient Advocacy Foundation can qualify you for nearly $7,500 a year to pay for the costs, whether you have health insurance through your work or the government. Those making less than $47,500 could qualify, pending income verification.
Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation can cover the whole lot of the medication, whether you have health insurance through your work or the government. Those making less than $58,800 could qualify, pending income verification.
Plush Care offers expert health care through video chats, and their team of experienced doctors will help provide diagnoses, treatment, and prescriptions — all over the phone.
If you go to PrEP.PlushCare.com, you will be able to speak to a doctor via your phone. In 15 minutes, your doctor will walk you through questions mandatory to ask PrEP seekers. From there, they will send a prescription to your local pharmacy and have it ready within the hour! Talk about easy.