Your Experience is a Gift

For questions about PrEP in general, and for a Chicago/Illinois specific provider listing, visit

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Paying for PrEP - Helpful Info for People/Providers

by Enid Vazquez, via Positively Aware's recent (an excellent resource) "Let's Talk about PrEP" issue.  

And be sure to check out this new fact sheet on payment strategies for both PrEP and PEP published August 21 by NASTAD:  "Pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs and Co-Payment Assistance Programs for PrEP and PEP."

Editors Note by Jeff Berry

Asked if he’s had any problems getting insurance companies to pay for HIV PrEP, HIV specialist Tony Mills, MD, of Los Angeles, replied, “None so far.”

In Chicago, Michelle M. Agnoli, RN, with the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center (MATEC), said, “There’ve been no problems that I’m aware of. None.”

And Shannon Weber, MSW, of the Bay Area Perinatal HIV Center (BAPAC) out of San Francisco General Hospital, said, “I’ve only heard one report of it not being approved. Generally I’m hearing positive responses about access.”

But concern about how to pay for PrEP is the number one question Weber gets when she makes presentations about the new HIV prevention therapy. Doctors will tell her “it’s hard to get [insurance] coverage,” yet when she asks them if they have prescribed PrEP, none of them have.


Monday, August 12, 2013

From Personal to Professional: Alan Johnson writes about his PrEP experience

 by Alan Johnson, MPH, excerpt from Positively Aware's recent "Let's Talk about PrEP" issue  

"I attribute my high adherence rate to knowing that PrEP will only work if you take it. I always carry a few doses with me and my iPhone alarm always reminds me to take my medication."

Editors Note by Jeff Berry

I first heard about PrEP at a community meeting a couple of years ago, after it was shown to be an effective prevention method in human studies. I decided to look into PrEP further when the FDA approved the prescription drug Truvada as prevention for those who are at high risk for acquiring HIV. In yet another community meeting soon after FDA approval, I learned that some insurance companies were planning to cover most of the cost for treatment. I also learned that patient assistance programs from the maker of the drug, Gilead Sciences, have been extended to those taking Truvada as PrEP. 

Though I have a background in public health (primarily sexual health research and direct prevention and care services), I found that the more I heard about PrEP, the more questions I had.

If I was interested in actually taking PrEP, how would I afford it?

Was I even truly at “high risk” for acquiring HIV?

Would I have adverse reactions to the meds?

How would I overcome my internalized fear and the stigma associated with actually reaching the pharmacy counter and receiving the prescription?

What if someone I know sees the Truvada label laying around my apartment and Googles it?

Would they think that I was HIV-positive?

Read the rest here. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

MUST READ: Let's Talk About PrEP - Special Issue on PrEP from Positively Aware

Check out this special summer issue from Positively Aware on PrEP. Contents include personal stories from real people using PrEP, updates from the world's leading scientists, and tips on how to pay for PrEP. Good stuff, must read!

Click here to access the full issue.


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