The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) has joined PrEP4All in the fight for a National PrEP Program to ensure equitable access to HIV prevention for uninsured and underinsured people in the United States, according to PrEP4All.
EJAF made a two-year investment of nearly $670,000 to support PrEP4All’s efforts to convince Congress to fund a national program to expand access to pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, available as daily pills and long-acting injectables that are highly effective at preventing a person from contracting HIV.
In 2018, PrEP4All became the first nonprofit to call for a National PrEP Program. Last year, over 100 HIV organizations cosigned a letter with PrEP4All urging Congress to fund the program.
Thanks to the new support from EJAF, PrEP4All executive director Jeremiah Johnson said it is “more certain than ever that [PrEP4All] will win.”
“If we are serious about ending HIV as an epidemic for every community, we can’t delay; we need a National PrEP Program to immediately eliminate the extreme racial and gender disparities we’re seeing in PrEP access,” Johnson said in a PrEP4All statement. “We are grateful to have seen real progress toward operationalization led by champions in the White House and within Congress, but there’s still work to be done. The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s resources, experience and passion will supercharge PrEP4All’s advocacy at a crucial moment.”
“PrEP is an essential tool in ending the HIV epidemic, but it has to be accessible to all who need it,” said EJAF CEO Anne Aslett in the PrEP4All news release. “We at the Elton John AIDS Foundation have been inspired by the innovative work and leadership at PrEP4All toward a National PrEP Program, and we are proud to partner with them to break down the many barriers that lead to racial and gender disparities in PrEP usage.
“Together, we can end the HIV epidemic, but only if we ensure that everyone at risk of HIV has easy, affordable access to this vital prevention method,” she added.
Currently, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) requires that health insurers cover PrEP and related services, such as HIV tests and bloodwork. But disparities in access remain, especially among Black and brown communities. What’s more, a Texas lawsuit working its way up the courts, Braidwood v. Becerra, seeks to end the mandate to cover many preventive services, including PrEP.
For more information on these topics, click #PrEP4All and #PrEP. There, you’ll find headlines such as “UPDATE: U.S. Government Seeks New Trial in HIV PrEP Patent Lawsuit,” “Anniversary of FDA Approval of PrEP to Prevent HIV” and “Medicare Proposes Covering All Forms of PrEP to Prevent HIV.”
And in related funding news, GOP lawmakers in the House of Representatives are proposing major cuts to HIV programs. For details, see “Republicans Slash HIV/AIDS Funding in New Appropriations Bill” and “Did I Make You Gasp?”