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Vital Signs: Increased Medicaid Prescriptions for Preexposure Prophylaxis Against HIV infection--New York, 2012-2015.

BACKGROUND: Approximately 3,000 incident cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection occur in New York state each year. Daily HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with the oral antiretroviral medication Truvada is a key component of New York's plan to end HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) as an epidemic in the state by 2020.

METHODS: Prescription data from the New York state Medicaid program from July 2012 through June 2015 were analyzed with an algorithm using medication and diagnoses codes to identify continuous use of Truvada for >30 days, after excluding use for postexposure prophylaxis or treatment of HIV or chronic hepatitis B infection.

RESULTS: During July 2012-June 2013, a total of 259 persons filled prescriptions for PrEP in the Medicaid program. During July 2013-June 2014, a total of 303 persons filled prescriptions for PrEP. During July 2014-June 2015, a total of 1,330 persons filled prescriptions for PrEP, a substantial increase over the previous 12 months. Across all periods studied, 1,708 Medicaid recipients filled at least one prescription for PrEP, most of whom were New York City (NYC) residents, male, aged <50 years, and, for those with available data on race, white.

CONCLUSIONS: PrEP use by Medicaid-insured persons increased substantially in the years following statewide efforts to increase knowledge of PrEP among potential prescribers and candidates for PrEP. Other jurisdictions can follow New York state's example by taking similar steps to remove the financial and knowledge barriers experienced by both potential users and prescribers of PrEP.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE: Although both state and local health department efforts contribute to the availability and use of PrEP, their collaboration enhances the successful implementation of strategies to increase PrEP use. In addition, the decision by the state Medicaid agency to cover PrEP recognizes the long-term benefits of preventing HIV infections.

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