Nurx: Making PrEP Easy, Affordable and Judgement-Free

Wednesday March 27, 2019

Not long ago, being able to take a pill to prevent HIV seemed like a far-off dream. Now that dream is a reality, so why aren't more people taking this life-saving medication?

The daily pill Truvada for PrEP is up to 99 percent effective at preventing HIV. That's close to perfect when taken as prescribed. Still, recent research in the peer-reviewed journal Plos One found only 4 percent of HIV-negative gay and bisexual men take the once-daily medication — even though they account for 66 percent of all diagnosis. Just 4 percent!

And while we're in no way saying every HIV-negative or gay person should take PrEP (because there are many factors that go into the decision), there's an important question that bears asking: Why isn't Truvada as popular as it should be?

It's not lack of awareness — the majority of men in the study knew about PrEP. Lead author Phillip Hammack, a psychology professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, cited "barriers to access in various parts of the country" as a reason for the "disappointing" findings.

Perhaps the biggest barrier was the stigma and discrimination study participants reported facing when they tried to get tested to use the medication.

That's an obstacle that Nurx, a pioneering healthcare company, is eliminating by expanding access to PrEP with judgement-free healthcare designed for convenience and confidentiality.

"The stories I have heard from patients about abuse suffered at the hands of their providers is heartbreaking and disgusting," says Courtney P. Sherman, doctor of nursing practice at Nurx.

She's known of patients who finally mustered the courage to request PrEP from their provider — only to be chastised to "just stop having sex," and met a public health doctor who believed gay men are biologically oversexed — a baseless, harmful stereotype. These forms of discrimination and stigma don't exist at Nurx, where its team of nonjudgemental providers are on a mission to stamp out healthcare discrimination one prescription at a time.

With Nurx, there are no visits to the STI clinic. Nurx empowers you to consult online with trusted medical providers to see if PrEP is right for you. With at-home HIV test kits and PrEP prescription and delivery, you never have to set foot inside a lab or pharmacy thanks to Nurx.

"No more abuse, strange looks, or awkward conversations with your local provider or the office staff about PrEP, STIs, or sexual behaviors," Sherman notes. "No more fear of running into a current partner, a former partner, or a future partner at the STI clinic."

This is particularly critical because PrEP requires HIV testing every three months. Nurx makes this step easy, routinely sending you the tests you need to keep taking PrEP.

And while Nurx's at-home tests rely on the same proven standards as clinic tests, they're simple to use. Collecting a blood sample takes under 5 minutes.

"Blood is collected via a safety lancet — meaning accidental finger pricks are nearly impossible," explains Nurx nurse Jessica Horwitz. "Most patients have no trouble at all collecting their samples at home."

Have questions? Nurx walks you through each step with clear written instructions and a short explainer video.

The sad reality is 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with HIV every single year. It should be easy to get life-saving treatment (and testing), right?

If you're not sure PrEP is right for you, Nurx providers can help. Just download the app or go online to chat with a licensed doctor or nurse. Everything you need will be discreetly sent straight to you: the tests, PrEP prescription, and medication.

Nurx handles all of the paperwork, saving you the hassle.

Plus, Nurx breaks down cost barriers to PrEP. If you have insurance, they'll bill it directly, and if you don't (or your insurance doesn't cover PrEP) Nurx will match you to the right payment assistance program. The majority of Nurx PrEP patients spend little to nothing for the prescription every month.

"By addressing barriers to care with convenient and thoughtful methods, we're now helping thousands of people every month find out their HIV status and start on PrEP," explains Nurx CEO Hans Gangeskar.

Now you know Nurx makes it easier than ever to stay healthy — what are you waiting for? Take charge of your health today by learning more about Nurx and PrEP.

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