New Zealand to introduce PrEP for less than two dollars a month

New Zealand has announced that it will publicly fund PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) for just $1.20 a month for a prescription. 

From March 1st, the treatment will be rolled out to those who are most at risk of contracting HIV.

Previously, a prescription for the drug would cost US$731 a month, meaning that many users would import the medication. However, getting it from overseas would still cost around US$36 a month. By publicly funding Truvada, the cost of a quarterly prescription will fall to just US$3.60, which works out to $1.20 a month making it cheaper than in almost any other country in the world.

PrEP is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission. The decision to publicly fund the preventative drug has been celebrated by LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activists across the country.

The executive director of New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF), Dr Jason Myers, said that it will have an incredibly positive impact on the rate of HIV transmission.

“Providing adorable access to PrEP for those who need it will make an enormous difference to those most at risk of HIV transmissions. It’s a giant leap forward for our ambitious goal of ending new HIV transmissions in New Zealand by 2025."

PrEP will be available to men who have sex with men, transgender people, people recently diagnosed with another STI, infrequent users of condoms and people in a relationship with an HIV-positive person. Read more via PinkNews