HIV-preventing PrEP drugs to be offered free in USA under ‘deal’

Pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs are a HIV prevention method

Pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs are a HIV prevention method

About 36.9 million people are living with HIV around the world.

If taken correctly, PrEP has been proven to completely eliminate risk of transmitting HIV to an uninfected partner during unprotected sex, according to a recent study of 1,000 male couples. President Donald Trump said in a celebratory tweet.

Gilead has agreed to donate Truvada until the company's next-generation preventative HIV drug, Descovy, is available.

This donation will deliver Gilead's PrEP medication Truvada, which now carries a list price of more than $20,000 per patient per year, to up to 200,000 people per year, including in the states and counties identified as priority areas in the Trump Administration plan - PDF to end the HIV epidemic in America.

The advocacy group PrEP4All, responding to Azar's announcement on Twitter, said Gilead's donation is still not enough to properly address the AIDS crisis in the U.S. Azar noted the initiative would provide the once-daily pill-a regimen called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP-to uninsured people at risk for HIV, especially in "priority areas". "Will help us achieve our goal of ending the HIV epidemic in America!"

The pharma company is also in the process of securing approval for another HIV drug known as Descovy. The drug, despite being manufactured at a relatively low price, can cost a user up to $2,000 for one month's supply. In 2017, the rural parts of seven Southern States had around 20,000 new HIV diagnoses which were higher than the other parts of America.

The drug maker believes the Truvada donation, combined with efforts to curb the root causes of HIV, such as homophobia, racism, stigma, transphobia, and violence against women, can lead to the end of disease transmission in the United States.

USA lawmakers have yet to secure budget for Pres. Trump's anti-HIV efforts.

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