Publix Markets Will Cover HIV Prevention Drug

The Southeast’s largest supermarket chain announced Tuesday that it is changing its employee prescription plan to cover a drug that helps prevent HIV infections, remedying an omission that doctors and gay rights groups said was highly unusual.

Publix announced its change in a Twitter reply to Florida state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando-area Democrat who had met with company officials Monday to discuss their refusal to cover Truvada for PrEP. The 6-year-old drug is more than 95 percent effective in preventing the contraction of human immunodeficiency virus, which can cause AIDS. It is usually prescribed to HIV-negative gay men and other people at higher risk of infection.

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