Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Hochul signs legislation expanding access to PrEP & PEP medication that help prevent HIV


Wed, Dec 21st 2022 05:30 pm

Legislation S.688/A.807 requires insurance companies to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to help end HIV epidemic in New York

Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation (S.688/A.807) requiring insurance companies to cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to help prevent against HIV infection.

"New York was once the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and we have a moral obligation to keep up the fight to end the epidemic once and for all," Hochul said. "PrEP and PEP are critical tools that help prevent new HIV infections, and every eligible New Yorker should have access to these vital medications."

Hochul’s team said, “Legislation S.688/A.807 requires that any insurance policy that provides coverage for prescription drugs includes coverage for the cost of PrEP and PEP — two important tools for preventing the spread of HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people at high risk of contracting HIV by up to 92%, when taken consistently. New York state continues to have the highest PrEP coverage in the nation, and has more people receiving it than almost any other jurisdiction.

“PEP regimens are antiretroviral drugs taken to stop the spread of HIV after a single high-risk event. PEP can be used to treat health care workers who have been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of HIV-positive patients, as well as people who have been exposed to HIV through unprotected sex, needle sharing, or sexual assault.

“This new law will help ensure that more New Yorkers can access these lifesaving tools, which are an important part of the fight to end the HIV epidemic in New York.”

New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman said, "New York has made significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS since committing to end the epidemic in 2014, but the rate of new infections still rose between 2020 and 2021 with over 2,100 cases last year. Widening access to PrEP and PEP, which prevent new infections, will help stop the spread. With this bill signing, New York is renewing its commitment to public health, especially in the LGBTQ community.”

Assembly member Danny O'Donnell said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And access to preventative medicine is essential in our fight against HIV. The epidemic isn't over. But PEP and PrEP are proven to prevent the transmission of HIV, and no one should be denied access to these revolutionary medications due to cost or lack of insurance coverage. This is a bill that helps LGBTQ people, communities of color, and anyone at higher risk of HIV exposure by ensuring that lack of insurance coverage will never be the barrier to accessing PEP or PrEP.”

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "PrEP and PEP medications are vital resources that are proven to be highly effective in preventing transmission and curbing the spread of HIV. These medications must be available, accessible, and above all, affordable to all New Yorkers.”

Hometown News

View All News