Gilead will donate drug to US for HIV prevention

Pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs are a HIV prevention method

About 36.9 million people are living with HIV around the world. Truvada has shown to cut the risk of HIV transmission by well over 90% (if used regularly) among such patients.

As part of his anti-HIV drive, the President said his administration needed $291 million to fund efforts during the first year of implementation alone.

The deal ends in 2025 but could be renewed for up to 2030.

The American drug maker announced on Thursday that it will be donating its anti-HIV drug Truvada to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help finally eliminate the spread of the deadly virus in the country.

The advocacy group PrEP4All, responding to Azar's announcement on Twitter, said Gilead's donation is still not enough to properly address the AIDS crisis in the U.S. Under President Trump's leadership, HHS worked with Gilead to secure preventative medication for individuals who might otherwise not be able to access or afford this important treatment. Azar noted the initiative would provide the once-daily pill-a regimen called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP-to uninsured people at risk for HIV, especially in "priority areas". This will allow an additional 200,000 people to have access to the drug. It plans to extend its period of donations until 2030. But it also hits on the reality that, despite Truvada's existence, thousands upon thousands of patients who could benefit from it don't have the financial resources to do so (it can cost close to $2,000 per month out of pocket). Louisiana fell from third in HIV infection diagnosis rate in 2016 to fourth in 2017 with a decrease of 120 cases in that time frame, according to the CDC. However, the House Appropriations Committee has approved almost $500 million in spending for disease treatment and prevention earlier this week.

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