Health and Wellness

Florida will offer free PrEP to all gay & bi men by the end of 2018

Florida will offer free PrEP to all gay & bi men by the end of 2018
Dr. Lisa Sterman holds up a Truvada pill, an HIV treatment pill used to prevent infection in people at high risk of getting the AIDS virus.Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP

After a mandate from the state’s surgeon general, Florida will offer free Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to all residents by the end of 2018. The drug, sold under the brand name Truvada, is almost 100% effective at preventing HIV infection if taken properly.

The program started late last year. Sixteen out of 67 counties are currently on board.

“Ensuring PrEP to those at highest risk for HIV infection, regardless of their ability to pay, is one of the four key components of the agency’s plan to eliminate HIV transmission and reduce HIV-related deaths,” Mara Gambineri, a spokesperson for the agency said.

The drug is available at local health department offices and various medical centers around the state. The Florida Department of Health has an interactive map on their website that shows you where locals can access the medication in their area.

Florida residents will need to fill out a form to receive the medication. Similar programs are available nationwide to help pay the cost of the drug.

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