Norwegian Gays Can Rejoice- Free PrEP for All!
Norway has become the first country in the world to offer PrEP for free as part of its National Health Service.
PrEP is a daily pill for people that are HIV negative that reduces the risk of infection by more than 99% when taken daily. PrEP stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis, and is synonymous with miraculous blue pill, Truvada, which is a combo of two powerful medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine).
“PrEP will contribute to reducing the rate of new infections in the gay community, as gay men are facing a risk of infection much higher than the general population,” noted Leif-Ove Hansen, the president of HIV Norway. “Condom use is on the decline,” he continued, “and we are happy that PrEP now is an integrated part of the public health service.”
When taken every day, Truvada is nearly 100% effective against permanent infection of HIV following exposure through sex or IV drug use. To date there have only been two known cases of a person contracting HIV while sticking to a daily regiment.
“Considering how popular PrEP has become in the United States in particular, the fact that there have been only two documented cases of PrEP failure so far underlines the strong likelihood that such cases will remain very rare,” Benjamin Ryan, POZ magazine.
PrEP is still the best there is to prevent HIV infection—especially when combined with condom use. Howard A. Grossman, MD a physician specializing in primary care for men who have sex with men (MSM) stressed to POZ magazine: “PrEP works and is the most successful intervention we have had; failures have been vanishingly rare, and that’s not changing; and tops can get infected.”
In the US, PrEP can be obtained free for many at-risk LGBT people at community centers like Callen Lorde in New York. For the insured, the cost of PrEP is offset by Gilead, the manufacturer of Truvada’s, co-pay card, which covers up to $300/month.