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New program provides access to free medication to prevent HIV

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) set in motion a national program called Ready, Set, PrEP. This initiative makes pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an HIV prevention medication, accessible to those without prescription drug insurance coverage at no cost. 

Pharmacies such as CVS Health, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have donated their dispensing services to HHS. Starting no later than March 30, 2020, qualified patients can receive the PrEP medications through mail order at no cost. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PrEP is for people who do not have HIV, but who are at high risk of getting HIV. The medication is taken once a day and contains two medicines. If someone becomes exposed to HIV through injection drug use or sex, this can work to keep the virus from establishing an infection.

PrEP cuts down the risk of contracting HIV from sex by about 99 percent when taken daily and can reduce the risk of HIV infection by at least 74 percent, according to the CDC. 

To see if you are eligible for the program, visit GetYourPrEP.com or call 855-447-8410.