Private insurance will soon expand its coverage for free pre-screening or PrEP, a remedy for HIV prevention.
The American Workgroup for Preventive Services awarded the drug label "A". According to the Act on Affordable Care, insurance companies are required to pay the cost of preventive services that the working group has rated "A" or "B".
A working group, an independent group of clinicians and scientists, officially announced the recommendation on Tuesday, June 11, in a press release published on the Internet. Journal of the American Medical Association.
The working group suggests individuals who are at risk of HIV infection to take PrEP, a Truvad daily tablet, to prevent the virus. These are people with HIV-positive partners, people who have sexual relations with risky individuals and people who inject illegal drugs. The disease is transmitted by contact with certain body fluids, including sperm, vaginal and rectal fluid, blood and breast milk.
"This is the first time the Working Group recommends PrEP," said Paul Volberding, director of the University of California, San Francisco Research Institute, in a statement to equilibreplus.com. "This will dramatically increase the use of PrEP and help reduce price, which is currently the main obstacle to this important HIV prevention tool."
Truvada is a combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine. It is also used for the treatment of HIV.
Regular application of PrEP reduces the likelihood of HIV infection by up to 90 percent. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the possibility of condom infection is further reduced.
Although PrEP is proven safe and effective, many who need to eat it do not have to. Some may not know they have or have no access. Some do not take it regularly, which makes it less effective.
It is estimated that around 1.1 million people living with HIV live in the United States. Over 162,500 do not know they are the carriers of the virus. Every year, 40,000 people are diagnosed with HIV.
The recommendation follows a few months after US President Donald J. Trump has pledged to reduce the number of new HIV infections across the country by 75 percent in five years and then end the epidemic by 2030,