PrEP: the pill to prevent HIV should be accessible in almost all insurance plans.


This medicine reduces the possibility of contracting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in sexual intercourse by up to 90%.

Given the numerous cases of people who have contracted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), one of the ways to prevent its spread is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is a pill that can reduce the risk of becoming a carrier. That is why it was recently reported that almost all insurers must provide this drug for free.

There are currently two approved forms of PreP: Truvada and Descovy. According to the BBC, both should be able to be purchased by policyholders at no cost. However, prescribing physicians will have to tell insurers that these pills are necessary for the patient. Thus, no charge will be made.

According to the information that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, together with the Department of Labor and the Department of the Treasury, sent the insurers, they were given two months to carry out those above. Likewise, it was noted that insurance agencies should not charge coinsurance or deductible payments for visits and laboratory tests that users require to maintain their prescription.

The US media stressed that insurers were already required to not charge for the drug since the beginning of 2021. Still, the additional requirements could be advance so that more people can be better protected from contracting the virus.

What is Prep?

This combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir called Truvada, which has become popular in several countries, decreases the chance of contracting HIV from sexual intercourse by up to 90%. In addition, among people who inject drugs, the risk is reduced by more than 70%. This means that it has the potential to reduce infections by this virus in the future. Currently, some 37 million people are living with HIV or AIDS.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) have recommended the use of PreP, which is taken once daily among those at high risk of contracting the virus.

However, although it might seem like a very promising drug, many people in the world do not know about it, cannot afford it, or live in countries where it is not marketed.

According to the Government of Mexico, in 2012, the oral use of Truvada was approved as PrEP by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this sense, in 2015, it was approved in France, Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe; in 2016, in Canada, Israel, Belgium, Peru, Australia, and Norway.

At the beginning of 2021, in a new edition of Stamboulian Talks, the dialectologist Gustavo Lopardo explained that getting tests to detect sexually transmitted diseases was helpful but added that not only could he stay there but that it was also essential to prevent them.

"Specifically for HIV, we know that there are two strategies: post and pre-exposure prophylaxis. Post-exposure is for a person who has had a particular situation of very high risk and to whom antiretrovirals must be administered as soon as possible after that situation, the same ones that we use to treat infected people, for four weeks, it is an effective strategy to time to prevent infection, "he said.

And he added: "Since 2012, we have known the efficacy of two drugs combined in a single pill per day, which are highly effective, particularly in men but also in women, in preventing HIV infection."