Movement for Equitable PrEP Access Gains Momentum Ahead of World AIDS Day
November 29, 2022. Washington, DC—Over 6000 individuals and 300 organizations representing all fifty states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands have signed on to a letter calling for the establishment of a national PrEP program. The letter builds on months of advocacy from a large national coalition of HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations calling for federal fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding for a PrEP program that will increase access to medications, labs, and direct services for uninsured and underinsured individuals; expand a provider network including nonclinical sites and telePrEP; and create demand through both national and local campaigns.
“Nearly 400,000 new HIV transmissions have occurred in the United States since PrEP was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 16th, 2012.” states the letter. “Over those ten years, Black, Latinx, and queer communities have continued to bear the brunt of this devastating epidemic. It is critical that the nation address this long-standing crisis by creating a national PrEP program to expand access to PrEP so that it reaches every person in need.”
The letter–promoted by PrEP4All, AVAC, The AIDS Institute, NMAC, the National Coalition of STD Directors, NASTAD, and AIDS United—notes that of the 1.2 million Americans estimated by the CDC to be most in need of PrEP only 9 percent of Black individuals and 16 percent of Latinx people had PrEP prescriptions in 2020 compared to 66 percent of White individuals.
“This persistent, never-ending crisis has come at great financial cost to our healthcare system. A national PrEP program would avert many of these costs while improving the lives and health of thousands of people nationwide,” the letter continues.
The letter is being delivered to the White House and Congressional leadership as Congress moves to finalize appropriations for FY23, providing a key opportunity for appropriators to invest critical funding toward a national PrEP program. A downpayment on a national PrEP program in FY23 is a necessary first step to promote equitable access to this proven HIV intervention that prevents new HIV infections that are costly to both personal health and healthcare systems.
We call on Congress and the Administration to fund a national PrEP program now so that we can advance this critical intervention and realize the bipartisan goal of ending HIV as an epidemic in the US. A decade has been too long to wait. We need a #NatlPrEPProgramNow.