Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (https://www.hiv.gov/federal-response/ending-the-hiv-epidemic/overview) is an initiative announced in 2019 to reduce the number of new HIV infections by 75% within 5 years, and by at least 90% within 10 years. In Lone Star Circle of Care’s service area, Travis and Harris Counties are two of the 48 U.S. counties where more than 50% of new HIV diagnoses occurred in recent years.
Lone Star Circle of Care provides HIV testing and navigation support so that patients at risk for HIV have access to proven interventions, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), that significantly reduce risk of getting HIV, and patients diagnosed with HIV receive treatment to live healthy lives.
LSCC tests patients aged 15 through 65 for HIV at the start of routine care and recommends annual testing for patients at higher risk (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/hiv-testing/getting-tested.html) for HIV. Patients may decline testing at any time. Click on the video below to learn more about HIV and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about HIV Testing (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/testing.html) .
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
Lone Star Circle of Care is now offering Pre-exposure prophylaxis (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep/about-prep.html) , better known as PrEP (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep/about-prep.html) . PrEP is a daily medication taken to prevent the transmission of HIV. There are two medications approved for use as PrEP: Truvada® and Descovy®. Most insurance plans and state Medicaid programs cover PrEP.
Ready, Set, PrEP (https://www.hiv.gov/federal-response/ending-the-hiv-epidemic/prep-program) is a nationwide program led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that makes PrEP medication available at no cost for qualifying recipients. To receive PrEP medication through this program, you must:
- Lack prescription drug coverage
- Be tested for HIV with a negative result
- Have a prescription for PrEP
To learn more about PrEP and how to cover the cost of your medications, contact a Lone Star Circle of Care HIV Prevention Navigator.
Thanks to advances in antiretroviral therapy, the medicine used to treat HIV, individuals with HIV who take their medicine as prescribed and, as a result, maintain an undetectable viral load can live long, healthy lives and have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to a partner.
For patients diagnosed with HIV, Lone Star Circle of Care provides referral to specialized medical care and treatment for the management of HIV. Referral is provided to the following clinics offering HIV treatment and other services to support the health of persons living with HIV.
** Avenue 360 (https://avenue360.org/) (Houston)
** David Powell Health Center (https://communitycaretx.org/locations/davidpowell.html) (Austin)
For help navigating an HIV diagnosis and/or referral to treatment, schedule an appointment with a primary care provider.
For More Information
What is PrEP?
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP for short is a daily pill that, when taken as prescribed, can prevent the transmission of HIV.
What is HIV?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks your immune system. Once contracted, HIV is a lifelong disease and there is currently no cure. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Is PrEP right for me?
PrEP might be for you if you
1. Have multiple partners
2. Are practicing unsafe sex such as not using a condom
3. Use drugs or share needles
4. Have a partner that is HIV Positive
What is the Ready, Set, PrEP Program?
The Ready, Set, PrEP Program (RSP) is a program established by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. The program is a key component of Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative to expand access to PrEP and reduce new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. This program allows PrEP to be available to people with no insurance at no cost.
What if I don’t have insurance?
Our HIV prevention navigators can enroll you into the Ready, Set, PrEP program to get your medication at no cost to you.
What if I have insurance?
Even if you have insurance, our HIV prevention navigators can assist you in enrolling in a patient assistance program. This program is usually offered through the pharmaceutical company that makes the medication. To learn more visit https://www.gileadadvancingaccess.com/copay-coupon-card.
How do I qualify for the program?
i. Must have a negative HIV result
ii. Have a valid prescription from your healthcare provider
iii. Be uninsured or lack insurance that covers prescription drugs.
Why can I only use certain pharmacies through the program?
Certain pharmacies have partnered with the program to donate their medication dispensing services. If you would like to find an eligible pharmacy visit https://www.hiv.gov/federal-response/ending-the-hiv-epidemic/prep-pharmacies to learn more.
I am interested in PrEP, what do I do next?
Schedule an appointment with one of our primary care providers