HIV prevention medication delivered right to your door? There’s an app for that.
San Francisco-based health technology startup Nurx announced last week that it will deliver Truvada, a medication that helps prevent transmission of HIV, to the homes of high risk individuals who qualify for the service.
The online delivery app is available for California residents and is meant for people who are considered to be at high-risk of contracting the virus. That includes men who engage in sex with other men and couples in which one partner is HIV positive and the other is not, according to Nurx.
Taken once a day, Truvada is said to be up to 99 percent effective in preventing transmission of the virus, according to Edvard Engesaeth, a medical doctor and the cofounder of Nurx. Truvada was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 and has since been used to combat new transmissions of HIV in the U.S. The preventative method is also known as pre-exposure prophylaxis.
“By making (Truvada) more accessible to high-risk users, the Nurx app has the potential to be a game-changer in the fight to end an epidemic,” Hans Gangeskar, CEO and founder of the company, said in a statement.
The online delivery service is among numerous efforts to reduce the often deadly effects of HIV. Last year, the San Francisco Department of Public Health reported 371 new HIV infections in The City, the lowest figure since the epidemic first began back in the 1980s, as previously reported by the San Francisco Examiner.
In 2014, Supervisor Scott Wiener revealed that he takes Truvada in an effort to raise awareness about the HIV-prevention tool.
To qualify for the delivery service, high risk individuals must fill out an online application, which is sent to a physician to determine the patient’s eligibility for Truvada. Lab testing for HIV, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is also required to qualify, according to Nurx.