Expanding Access to Truvada/PrEP an Anti-HIV Drug

Author: Human Rights Campaign
Published: Sunday 19th October 2014 - Updated: Thursday 27th November 2014
Summary: Human Rights Campaign calls preventive treatment plan a critically important tool that must be part of all efforts to end HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S..

In a policy paper released today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, explicitly endorsed the use of Truvada for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).

PrEP is any medical or public health tool used to prevent the spread of a disease or infection prior to exposure. Truvada is the only brand name anti-HIV drug combination currently approved for PrEP, which protects against HIV but no other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). When taken as prescribed by a knowledgeable healthcare provider, and paired with other safer sex practices, Truvada can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by upwards of 90 percent.

"PrEP is a dose of hope, taken once daily. Today, there is an unprecedented chance to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, in part through PrEP's aggressive prevention of new HIV infections," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "There is no reason - medical or otherwise - to discourage individuals from taking control of their sexual health and talking to their doctor about PrEP. Bold action must be taken to guarantee affordable access to this life-changing regimen."

It is important to note that HRC's recommendation applies especially to populations deemed most vulnerable to HIV infection. Truvada is not right for all individuals, and any medical decision should be made in concert with a knowledgeable healthcare provider.

HRC joins AIDS United and the Gay Men's Health Crisis Center (GMHC), as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in endorsing PrEP. HRC is pairing its announcement with new calls for insurers, regulators, and Truvada's drug manufacturer to take bold steps to reduce costs, educate the public, and adopt a goal of universal access for all medically-qualified individuals - regardless of socioeconomic background.

HRC makes the following requests of stakeholders:

Truvada does not provide protection against other sexually transmitted diseases.

With STDs such as syphilis on the rise, and with their capacity to lead to life-threatening conditions if untreated, it's important for sexually active individuals to protect themselves and always engage in safer sex practices and get tested regularly.

"Affordable access to PrEP as a prevention option is essential if we are to beat this epidemic," Griffin said. "We've got to work together if we're going to seize this historic opportunity to change countless lives for the better."

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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