HIV+Hep’s Carl Schmid issued the following statement: “This marks a monumental shift and ends a long and painful era of blanket discrimination against gay men. No longer will eligibility to donate blood be based on sexual orientation. Instead, every person, no matter their sexuality, will be reviewed individually in order to determine their eligibility to donate. While this long-overdue change is being made based on the science and the facts, which have been clear for years, it is the result of the leadership of the Biden administration that continues to tear down discriminatory government policies.”
Congressional appropriators have released the final FY2023 appropriations bill and have increased funding for the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative by $100 million for a total of $613 million, according to the Appropriations Committee. While far short of the $330 million increase proposed in President Biden’s budget, it does provide increases to ramp up domestic HIV testing, prevention, and treatment programs in order to end HIV.
The HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute is extremely pleased that the USPSTF, at our request, has updated its recommendation for PrEP to prevent HIV and include newly approved long-acting drugs. Due to the importance of preventing HIV and the superiority of long-acting PrEP compared to daily oral PrEP, the USPSTF acted in record speed. Now we urge insurers to ensure its coverage and offer it without cost-sharing. We are hearing many complaints by people who are still being charged cost-sharing for oral PrEP and its associated services. People seeking PrEP are facing too many barriers to access and we need state and federal regulators to take the necessary steps to correct these problems.
Today, the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute and the North Carolina AIDS Action Network filed discrimination complaints against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina for placing almost all HIV drugs, including generic Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), on the highest drug tiers, thus forcing people living with and vulnerable to HIV to pay excessive high costs to take their drugs.
In advance of World AIDS Day on December 1st, the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute has released a report modeling the resources needed to fund a national Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) program.