PrEP for Access

I recently read an article on National Public Radio’s website that makes a great point: women should be taking Truvada for PrEP too if they are at risk for exposure to HIV.

The fact that this article exists is really not surprising because I never really see public health campaigns aimed at women, especially among the Black Queendom where Black women are the second-highest risk group after Black men for contracting new infections.1 This, combined with the fact that PrEP prescriptions for Black people of any gender is at one percent, is a problem.1

Health disparities within HIV prevention

Why is PrEP not reaching women, Black and Brown, and poor communities? I truly don’t know the answer to this. But I feel the disparity. PrEP is expensive. It can range in cost from $70 to $2000 dollars for a month supply depending on your insurance, if you have insurance.

It requires a doctor's visit every three months to get a new prescription. There are assistance programs and Medicaid in many places, but the medications are still not getting into the hands of those who need it.

Improving access to PrEPPrEP should be an option for every person because it is apart of reproductive health. Sex workers of all genders should be aware of this option in their profession. The availability of PrEP but the inability to distribute it to people that need it is a moral travesty for a country with so many resources. It is not lost on me that providing these resources require money. We have the resources and the solution, so why not take the opportunity to eliminate disease for everyone? Does the economic cost of making PrEP accessible outweigh the public health benefit?Change is neededI don’t think so. This virus impacts us all, in direct and indirect ways. We all have a responsibility to help in ending the impact of HIV. Most importantly, we all have access to this medication regardless of gender identity, economic status, or any other demographic classification. With the advent of drug assistance programs, this is becoming more of a possibility. However, if the people who need the drug are not receiving it, we can’t continue to do the same thing and expect a different result.Please comment and add to the conversation and check out my series of articles on my PrEP journey! I would love to hear from other women on the issue. Be kind and be well!

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