Drug maker donates millions of bottles of HIV prevention pill for uninsured patients

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville is known as one of the state’s hot zones for HIV. 

A company is pledging millions of bottles of pills to help prevent the disease here and across the country.  

The medicine is called “Prep” and it can cost up to $2,000 a month. Thanks to this donation, uninsured Nashvillians will be able to get it for free. 

Studio musician and PrEP advocate, Nicholas Gold, said he wishes the medication was more accessible to others. 

“I can’t afford $2,000 a month for drugs to prevent HIV, it’s almost a little ridiculous.”  

That’s how much Gold was told he’d have to spend to buy the drug, Truvada, also known as prep, to prevent HIV.  

In the last week, the maker, Gilead, announced it will provide just over two million bottles for uninsured Americans.  

“I love that Gilead is providing free medication to people, but I think it could be more.”  

The Meharry Community Wellness Center in Nashville is just one of several facilities across the country that will benefit from the donation.  

“Davidson county and shelly county are the hotspots of the HIV epidemic in Tennessee,” said Dr. Vladimir Berthuad at the Meharry Community Center.  

According to the CDC, Tennessee ranks in the top 20 for HIV diagnosis.  

Dr. Berthuad says more access is good and hopefully can decrease the stigma of HIV prevention.   

 “Nationwide, only maybe 10 percent of people who need prep, receive prep,” said Dr. Berthuad.  

 “Being on prep you’re actually being proactive about your health, I think a lot of people need to be more proactive,” said Gold.  

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