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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 14, 2015 04:18 PM
From: Senator Christine M. Tartaglione
To: All Senate members
Subject: PrEP for PA
The Pennsylvania Department of Health estimates there are 33,912 active cases of HIV/AIDS in Pennsylvania, with most concentrated in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In 2009, the CDC HIV surveillance report estimated that the total lifetime treatment costs for HIV, in Pennsylvania, to be $637 million with Medicaid shouldering much of that cost.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) HIV medication is an important new tool that can be used to help prevent HIV infection across the Commonwealth, saving lives, reducing suffering, and potentially reducing significant health care costs associated with HIV and AIDS.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that HIV PrEP medication is found to be 98% effective in preventing the transmission of the HIV virus. While a recent study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases found that none of the study participants developed HIV infections while taking HIV PrEP medication

Therefore, the near future, I plan to introduce legislation requiring all private insurance companies to provide coverage for (PrEP) HIV medication. PrEP includes a medication that can be taken by an HIV-negative individual before a potential exposure to the HIV virus to significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection.

Under current Pennsylvania law, private insurance companies are not required to cover the costs of PrEP HIV medication, leaving the individual to shoulder the full cost. The most common PrEP HIV medication, Truvada, costs $13,000 a year, putting it out of the reach of most Pennsylvanians.

Please join me in ensuring that all Pennsylvanians with private insurance coverage have access to this important medicine.

Introduced as SB1084