Pharmaceutical company Gilead has announced that they will be providing their anti-HIV medication to over 200,000 uninsured Americans who are at risk of contracting the infection.
Every year for the next 11 years, the company will be donating over 2.4 million free bottles of Truvada PrEP to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for distribution amongst low-income and disadvantaged communities.
The medication donation, which is being called the “largest ever in the United States” is part of the company’s “national efforts to help prevent HIV and end the epidemic.”
“We are proud to partner with CDC to dramatically expand access to medication that can help prevent new HIV infections,” said Gregg Alton, Chief Patient Officer, Gilead Sciences.
Truvada, which is “generally well tolerated”, is a combination of two drugs that interfere with an enzyme called reverse transcriptase that is used by HIV-infected cells to make new viruses. Since Truvada reduces their activity, it causes HIV-infected cells to slow down or stop producing new viruses.
Beyond the donation, Gilead’s commitment to combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic includes the COMPASS (COMmitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States) Initiative, which is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the South through capacity building, mental health and trauma-informed care, and awareness and anti-stigma education.
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