Thursday, October 24, 2019 - While Congress and Gilead Sciences argue over the specifics of how much Truvada is needed to wipe out HIV nationwide over the next ten years, the US state of Florida has taken concrete steps to make the drug available for free to residents of the Sunshine State. Anti-HIV transmission drug Truvada has a price tag of around $20,000 per year making it inaccessible to all but those with adequate health insurance. The drug costs an extra $200-$400 per month in medical exams that make even the well-insured think twice. The Florida free Truvada campaign is part of a larger statewide initiative to wipe out AIDS in their territory by offering Truvada and other infectious disease medications available for free to those who could not afford them otherwise. Truvada lawsuit attorneys offer a free consultation and no obligation to file a lawsuit claim.
According to The Orlando Weekly online, "the Florida Department of Health began rolling out a statewide PrEP initiative in October, though 16 county health departments have been providing PrEP services for the past year, says Mara Gambineri, a spokesperson for the department. All 67 county health departments should have PrEP available by the end of 2018, according to a mandate from the agency's Surgeon General and Secretary Celeste Philip." The expensive pre and post prescription medical requirements are also included in the services being offered for free, including "... education on the (Truvada, presumably its risks) drug, HIV testing, Hepatitis C testing, liver function test, prescription of PrEP medications and a three-month follow up after PrEP initiation."
The City of Orlando has taken the initiative on the infectious disease matter in large part out of concern for the municipality's abundance of HIV-infected residents. The State of Florida has an HIV infection rate that is more than double the national average according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) "In 2015, Florida had the second-highest rate of HIV diagnoses out of all the states among adults and adolescents in 2015, according to the CDC. The Orlando metro area ranks sixth among U.S. cities." In a time when the national rate of HIV infections is decreasing, Florida had more newly diagnosed HIV cases, approximately 5000, than any other US State.
Florida residents that receive Truvada for the first time are warned that the drug's 99% effective rate requires that it is used in combination with other safe sex practices such as using a condom and engaging exclusively in a monogamous relationship. Social scientists worry that authorities' emphasis on giving away Truvada is like granting a license to homosexuals to practice unprotected sex rendering Truvada useless in the greater scheme of things. Experts fear that those who use Truvada without condoms could increase the spread of other potentially deadly sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and syphilis. The the state's education and drug giveaway program will target cities like Orlando and Miami with a large population of gay black and Latino teenagers who comprise the group with the highest rate of spreading HIV.
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