PrEP – Ending HIV in Chicago, and the World
Like most Saturday mornings, I woke up today with no idea what this blog would cover. I usually start my Saturday mornings with a clean slate. Today was no exception. Until I read this article from HIV Plus Magazine.
Since PrEP’s introduction, there has been no question – it works. Today, in this day of the uncertain future for medical coverage, my question is this: Why do some insurance companies refuse to cover, or only provide minimal coverage, for PrEP? Even my company, which has a score of 100 on the HRC index, provides medical coverage that taps out on PrEP for employees in higher salary tiers.
We get it. If you make enough money, you should be able to pay for your own indiscretions. Indiscretions. Ha. That’s not why we need this drug. HIV is still a public health concern. Anyone at risk deserves some help paying for this preventive drug. If you’re in a risk group, no matter how high or low, the cost of HIV treatment is much higher than the cost of this preventive measure.
Most insurance companies encourage preventive maintenance. For example, if I’m going in for a yearly physical, I don’t pay a copay. Wouldn’t it be in a company’s benefit to pay for a preventative measure, to avoid the high cost of HIV treatment, which will still ultimately lead to death if untreated?
I’ve heard the argument, believe me. Lemur, while I love him, is quick to point out that HIV is a completely preventable disease.
My answer to that: everyone deserves love. For many people, sex is a part of love. Love, and sex, should not be a death sentence. If we have a drug that prevents transmission of this disease, we should give it to anyone at risk, no matter their sexual preference or socio-economic status. Millions of people still die from AIDS in Africa every year, and most are heterosexual.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
LGBTQ LIVES MATTER.
Stop this horrible disease. Now. Give PrEP to anyone at risk.