TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new program to provide free HIV prevention drugs to people who cannot afford them because they do not have health insurance was announced Tuesday by the U.S. government.
Use of daily preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) significantly reduces the risk that a person who is HIV-free will contract the AIDS-causing virus through sex or injection drug use, the Associated Press reported.
However, only about 18 percent of the 1.2 million Americans who might benefit from the medications got a prescription last year, according to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Without insurance, the drugs can cost a person up to $2,000 a month, the AP reported.
Expanding access to PrEP is an important part of the federal government's aim of ending the nation's HIV epidemic by 2030.