One Colorado Statement on Increasing Access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Denver, CO — One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families released the following statement from One Colorado Executive Director Daniel Ramos and the Colorado Division of Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway on the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation to offer Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to all people at high-risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

“We applaud all efforts to make PrEP more accessible to those at high risk of becoming infected with HIV. With only 20 percent of LGBTQ Coloradans being offered PrEP by their medical provider, we have a lot more work to do. We are excited to get to work with partners like the Colorado Division of Insurance to improve coverage, remove out-of-pocket costs, and prevent new HIV infections.”
Executive Director Daniel Ramos

“We commend the USPSTF for adding PrEP to the list of covered preventive treatments. This puts a highly effective medication within reach of those who need it and it will save lives.”
Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway.

PrEP contains two medicines, tenofovir and emtricitabine, that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection. The recommendation, published in the June 11, 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), updated its 2013 recommendations on HIV screening and issued its first published guidance on the prevention of HIV with PrEP. The USPSTF provided a grade A recommendation for routine, voluntary HIV screening among all people aged 15 to 65 years old, all pregnant women, and all individuals at high risk of infection. The recommendation aligns with similar clinical and practice guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the International Antiviral Society-USA panel. While a strong step forward to increase access to PrEP and its associated services, it cannot be understated that it is not the only solution to ending HIV.