Norway has just made an unprecedented move to provide their at-risk gay men PrEP free-of-charge through its National Health Service.
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada has been proven to reduce the risk of contracting HIV for those who use it as prescribed.
Although the drug has been endorsed by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, some are hard-pressed to get a prescription in the US because of high-cost or their convoluted health insurance policies.
Truvada has also been a hot-button issue within the LGBT community, where its critics feel the pills are enablers of promiscuous sex providing users a false sense of protection.
A regular and devoted regimen of the drug has been proven to reduce the risk of infection by 86-percent.
New Now Next reports that the Minister for Health and Social Care Bent Høie said earlier this week that PReP will soon be available in Norway free of cost to at-risk users.
Leif-Ove Hansen, the president of HIV Norway said, “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.”
“Condom use is on the decline,” he continued, “and we are happy that PrEP now is an integrated part of the public health service.”
Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust in the UK says that Noways’s decision is a step in the right direction for Europe.
“PrEP is a game changer,” he said, “and, when used alongside condoms, regular testing and effective treatment, it can help end the HIV epidemic for good.”
He adds, “[Governments] must stop with their delays and confusion, and make PrEP immediately available to those at risk of HIV.”