Here’s what Joe Biden is doing to get you on PrEP

Your morning PrEP routine just got a brand new investment from President Joe Biden.

The Biden administration announced this week that it’ll be investing more funds than ever into pre-exposure prophylaxis (a.k.a PrEP). The move comes as part of the Biden administration’s existing program to eradicate the epidemic by 2030. Biden originally promised an $377 million increase to the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative, with the budget committed to a 75% HIV infection reduction by 2025.

Now, the budget also calls for a $9.8 billion nationwide PrEP delivery program over the course of 10 years which will be a vital part of combating HIV infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that PrEP is 99% effective against sexually-transmitted HIV infections and has been responsible for an 12% overall decline in infections from 2017 to 2021. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services already rolled out the nationwide Ready, Set, PrEP program to provide PrEP medications at zero cost to qualifying individuals, but communities of color and transgender women, both whom are disproportionately impacted by HIV still have trouble accessing the medication.

PrEP treatments require quarterly blood tests, as well as frequent appointments. Not to mention, there are gaps in these communities accessing education and resources, in addition to potential costs being a barrier to access. Still, healthcare professionals such as Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, see this program as a step towards remedying access issues and eradicating HIV.

“The proposed PrEP delivery program will elevate the discussion on the need to create a nationwide program to increase uptake of PrEP, ” Schmid said in a statement. “This is particularly necessary for those communities who have not taken full advantage of the highly effective HIV prevention drugs, including Black and Latino gay men and Black women. Even with the availability of low-cost generic and free daily oral PrEP drugs, uptake has been low due to the lack of community and provider outreach, lab and other medical costs, along with stigma.”

Since 1981, over 700,000 Americans have died from complications with HIV, with approximated 1.2 million Americans living with HIV and 13% of people living with HIV unaware of their status. The need for HIV education, prevention, and treatment becomes even more dire. However, with advancements in HIV treatment, investment in prevention measures, like the injectable Aperture, and proper access to education and resources, HIV can become a thing of the past.

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Tags: HIV
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