Even When HIV Prevention Drug Is Covered, Other Costs Block Treatment

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Kaiser Health News - Michelle Andrews

Three years ago, Corey Walsh, who was in a relationship with a man who was HIV-positive, got a prescription for Truvada, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent infection with the virus that causes AIDS.

Walsh, then 23, was covered by his parents’ health insurance policy, which picked up the cost of the drug. But the price tag for the quarterly lab tests and doctor visits he needed as part of the prevention regimen cost him roughly $400, more than he could afford.

“I went back to my physician and said, ‘I can’t take this anymore because all these ancillary services aren’t covered,’” Walsh recalled. He ended up joining a clinical trial that covered all his costs.

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