Multiple sources are claiming that Publix is denying employees access to the HIV prevention regimen PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). The PrEP regimen includes regular doctor visits, labs, HIV prevention education and taking 1 pill once a day. It can be up to 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission and is recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for certain individuals vulnerable to contracting HIV. Today, Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith confirmed that Publix is denying its employees PrEP and stated

“I have spoken directly with the government affairs team at Publix and obtained the statement below. I am VERY concerned about their short-sided decision to risk the health of their employees by denying them CDC recommended medication. If you are a Publix shopper, YOU should stop by your local store and express your concern to management as well!”

Publix’s Statement Regarding PrEP sent to Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

“Publix offers very generous health coverage to our eligible full-time and part-time associates and their family members at an affordable premium. The plan’s definition of medical necessity applies to all covered benefits. Under this definition, coverage is provided for the identification, treatment or management of a medical condition. Coverage is not generally provided to diagnose a medical condition for which a member has no indications or to treat a medical condition that a member might get in the future. The plan does provide coverage for preventive care benefits such as annual physicals, age-appropriate health screenings and vaccines. Currently, our plan covers Truvada for members who are being treated for active HIV infections or who have been recently exposed to HIV. In cases where Truvada is being used prophylactically, the plan’s definition of medical necessity was not met. As the largest employee-owned company in the country, Publix has long been recognized as an organization dedicated to our associates. We appreciate hearing from our customers and associates and will re-evaluate coverage for Truvada as a preventive benefit.”

HIV Prevention Drug

PrEP is recommended by the CDC, the American Academy of HIV Medicine, American Medical Association (AMA), Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC), Florida Department of Health (DOH),, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization (WHO) just to name a few.

Wherher for HIV prevention or stroke prevention, a qualified healthcare professional should decide which CDC recommended medical treatments and prevention options are best for an individual. We will vigorously work with all of our patients so that they are able to receive the medical care they need.

-Sam Graper
Community Relations Manager, Orlando Immunology Center

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