Pharmac widening access for Truvada for the prevention of HIV infection

PrEP. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

PrEP. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

It will be publicly funded for HIV-negative people who are at high risk of contracting the virus, including men and transgender people who have sex with men, people with an HIV-positive partner, and those who are likely to have anal sex without a condom.

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a HIV-prevention treatment. If taken daily, PrEP can a reduce the risk of getting HIV by 90 percent or more. It is usually prescribed to people at higher risk of infection.

Though it was not disclosed whether the Publix employee identified as LGBTQ, some outlets that the company was discriminating against gay and bisexual men, who remain to HIV infection, by refusing to cover PrEP. While most USA insurance plans at least partially cover PrEP, it can be prohibitively expensive for Americans without health coverage (or those with extremely high drug co-pays on their insurance plans). "We offer generous health coverage to our eligible full-time and part-time associates at an affordable premium and are committed to the health and well-being of our associates and their families", the company tweeted.

It issued a statement reiterating its Twitter replies Tuesday afternoon.

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Publix announced Tuesday that it would reverse itself after coming under fire for denying preventative HIV drug coverage to one of its employees in Metro Atlanta. "We have long said that until PrEP is fully accessible, it will not be fully effective".

"I think they know and understand that this is the right thing to do for their employees", said Smith, one of two openly gay legislators in Florida.

While Australia's incidence of HIV transmission is low by worldwide standards, it was still "stubbornly flat" around 1000 new infections each year, Mr O'Donnell said.

It estimated up to 4000 people would benefit from the decision.

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Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis is an HIV-prevention treatment made up of the drug called Truvada.

He confirmed that the former Publix employee, a Georgia resident, had been denied coverage - the only such case he'd seen. Under the policy, he said, employees would have to petition the company describing why the covergae was necessary.

Without insurance, PrEP can cost up to $1,500 a month.

The man asked that his name and occupation be withheld to protect his privacy.

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New Zealand is about to become one of the first countries in the world to publicly fund an HIV prevention drug. That does not include treating anyone else the person might infect. In 2012, the Human Rights Board of Broward County, Florida made Publix pay $100,000 to a gay baker they'd allegedly fired for being gay.

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