Publix to cover HIV prevention drug after backlash

Publix denies preventative HIV drug coverage to its employees

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) estimates the drug would be available to 31,000 gay and bisexual men and would not only reduce the rate of HIV transmission in Australia by up to half, but also allay many men's fears about having sex. It is usually prescribed to people at higher risk of infection.

But while PrEP is "critically important", it was not the solution and only one part of many elements required to achieve the ultimate goal of eliminating HIV by 2020, Mr O'Donnell said.

The Associated Press began reporting on the issue last week but Publix did not respond to numerous calls and detailed messages at that time.

Publix, one of the largest supermarket chains in the country, made headlines last week when it was revealed it refused to cover PrEP in its employee health insurance plan. "We offer generous health coverage to our eligible full-time and part-time associates at an affordable premium and are committed to the health and well-being of our associates and their families", tweeted Publix.

It issued a statement reiterating its Twitter replies Tuesday afternoon.

He said he walked them through a situation where an HIV-negative employee is in a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive. "We have long said that until PrEP is fully accessible, it will not be fully effective".

Joe Raedle  Getty Images
Joe Raedle Getty Images

It estimated up to 4000 people would benefit from the decision.

"In deciding to fund PrEP, PHARMAC has endorsed a key part of NZAF's strategic plan - seeing PrEP as a safe and effective way of preventing HIV transmission during sex, and one that could make a huge impact on the number of new HIV diagnoses in NZ - which was at its highest ever in 2016", says Dr Myers.

While denying coverage of PrEP is not illegal, Smith said Publix's old policy left it vulnerable to privacy lawsuits. That means it can cost those who take PrEP about $10,00 (US$7,828) a year.

The man asked that his name and occupation be withheld to protect his privacy.

We had already mentioned that Publix - the Florida grocery chain that refused to pay for employee HIV-prevention medication and then backtracked after a public outcry - had previously made donations to anti-LGBTQ Republicans and retained LGBTQ-unfriendly workplace policies. That does not include treating anyone else the person might infect. Miami-Dade and Broward counties were Nos.

Scott Schoettes, HIV project director at Lambda Legal, a gay rights organization, said it is unclear whether companies are legally required to cover Truvada for PrEP. He said he is unaware of any other large employer refusing to cover Truvada for PrEP.

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