Should you be able to get PrEP without seeing a doctor?

Access to Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) treatments are one of the strategies that have been credited with the drop in new transmission of HIV over the last few years.

Now some jurisdictions are proposing making getting the medication even easier, by allowing pharmacists to prescribe the medication rather than doctors. In Colorado a bill is before the state’s legislature to allow the change to occur.

HIV prevention advocates in the state are all for it. “We have prevention and treatment tools to end the HIV epidemic,” Helen Burnside, director of the Prevention Training Center at Denver Health told local media. “To me, what we really need to think about is expanding access.”

In Colorado many people who have to travel a long way to access a doctor currently qualified to write a prescription for the treatment., and many people fear they’d been seen visiting the local HIV clinic in a city where stigma about HIV remains.

While HIV rates in many parts of the developed world are rapidly dropping in Colorado they are on the increase. The state health department estimated 455 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2019, up from 409 in 2018.

In the USA pharmacists in California are able to prescribe the medication, and Iowa and Washington are also considering changing their rules.

OIP Staff