Private insurance holders to get free HIV prevention pills in US

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Patients who hold private insurance, will soon be able to get HIV prevention medication which are also known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP free of cost. The recommendation was made from an influential health-care panel on June 11, 2019. A grade A recommendation has been given to PrEP by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force which means that the insurers will have to cover the medication at no cost to their policy holders.

According to the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as the Obamacare, the private health plans are required to cover preventive services that the task force grants an A or B rating. The recommendation has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on June 11, 2019.

The task force consists of independent panel of clinicians and scientists and opined that it found convincing evidence that the PrEP is of “substantial benefit in decreasing the risk of HIV infection.” The task force has also recommended regular HIV screening for the pregnant women as well as individuals aged 15 to 65 years. Dr. Hyman Scott, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco wrote in an editorial that was published alongside the JAMA report, “The new guidelines show a maturation of evidence and policy in HIV medicine and a growing consensus affecting application, not only in the United States but worldwide”. Scott is not a member of the task force.

About 1.1 million people in the U.S. are currently living with HIV and about 40,000 Americans become affected with the virus every year. The PreEP has the ability to reduce the risk of infection by up to 92 percent in people who are at high risk and who take the drug consistently. The recent move has come after President Donald Trump has pledged to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030.

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