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Governor Cuomo Announces New PrEP Assistance Program to Help End HIV/AIDS Epidemic in New York State

5.12.2015
For Immediate Release
May 12, 2015
CONTACT: 
Anthony Hayes I 646-591-4893 I 917.601.0410 I AnthonyH@GMHC.org
 

Statement:

Governor Cuomo Announces New PrEP Assistance Program to Help End HIV/AIDS Epidemic in New York State

 

New York, NY -- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has unveiled a new program that will expand vital support services for HIV-negative people taking Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis-or PrEP. PrEP is a life-saving drug that, when taken daily, is over 90% effective in preventing new HIV infections. The program aims to bring us closer to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York State by 2020.
 
In response to the new PrEP assistance program, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) released today the following statement:
 
"Governor Cuomo's new PrEP Assistance Program is leading the nation in providing access to a critical, life-saving tool that can prevent HIV infection. The Governor's program recognizes that PrEP is a gateway drug to primary care. In order to be effective, PrEP users must have ready and affordable access to HIV testing, adherence counseling, more frequent testing for other STIs, and other support services under the care of their physician. Through providing funding to support these services, the Governor's PrEP Assistance Program will be available to all who would benefit, not just those who are fortunate enough to have good health insurance," said GMHC's Managing Director of Public Affairs and Policy Anthony Hayes.
 
Although PrEP is covered under private insurance options, Medicaid and the Gilead patient assistance program, other support services many not be covered.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's new PrEP Assistance Program will reimburse eligible providers for the package of care and support services required for eligible high-risk individuals receiving PrEP. This includes regular HIV testing, adherence counseling, STI/STD testing and treatment, and supportive primary care services to ensure individuals continuously adhere to PrEP interventions and medication. The PrEP medication itself will be provided to uninsured and underinsured individuals through the manufacturer patient assistance program, and a hotline will be available to assist participants with this process, as necessary.
 

About GMHC

Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the nation's leading provider of HIV/AIDS care, prevention services and advocacy, serving nearly 9,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in New York City, the epidemic's largest U.S. epicenter. As the world's first HIV and AIDS service organization, GMHC is an expert in providing services that every person affected by the epidemic deserves. GMHC is on the front lines caring for people who are both HIV negative and positive, including: testing, nutrition, legal, mental health and education services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal level with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020. Most recently, GMHC and other HIV/AIDS organizations successfully persuaded the federal government to recommend widespread use of PrEP, a new daily treatment that is over 90% effective in preventing HIV infection. For more information, visit gmhc.org.

 

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