A Letter to Biden on PrEP
On February 7, 2022, 111 public health, HIV, hepatitis, and STD community-based organizations, along with providers, community health centers, and advocacy organizations, signed on to a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to support the creation of a national PrEP grant program to prevent HIV transmissions in the United States.
The groups commended the Biden Administration’s updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) for 2022–2025 and applauded the President’s acknowledgement on World AIDS Day 2021 that central to achieving this goal is increasing uptake of PrEP. They asked that he include at least $400 million in the FY2023 budget to establish and fund a national PrEP grant program to increase awareness and access to PrEP and related services.
The letter signers advised that the program should provide funding to community-based organizations, including state and city public health departments, Indian tribal communities, rural health clinics, community health centers, Ryan White clinics, sexual health and family-planning clinics, community-based organizations providing HIV prevention services, and others to ensure that PrEP reaches the communities most in need. The program should also allow for the low-cost purchase of PrEP medications and utilization of generic PrEP. It should also work with people’s existing health care coverage and take advantage of zero-dollar cost-sharing for PrEP and associated ancillary services for those who have private insurance.
The new program would build upon a component of the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative that provides funding to community health centers to expand PrEP and PrEP-related services in EHE jurisdictions. To date, $102 million has been divided among 271 health centers to help increase PrEP uptake. However, additional funding is needed and only community health centers are eligible for this program.
Two bills before Congress now, the PrEP Assistance Program Act (HR 5605) and the PrEP Access and Coverage Act (S 3295, HR 6117), would both establish national grant programs to pay for PrEP and ancillary services along with community and provider outreach needed to carry out successful PrEP programs. The PrEP Access and Coverage Act would also ensure comprehensive coverage and eliminate out-of-pocket costs for PrEP for individuals who have private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Read the full letter to the President at https://drive.google.com/file/d/19tIxAry2LcU7OaQMStdnUWg23EULjk_7/view.