Watch CBS News

State Launches Investigation Of Insurance Denials For HIV Prevention Drug Users

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- State officials have launched an investigation of companies who may be denying life insurance coverage to individuals taking a widely used medicine to prevent HIV infections.

The medicine is called Truvada -- 'Prep' is its common nickname -- and its a cocktail of two anti-HIV drugs and taken as a preventive measure by many gay men.

"I take it and I know many people that do take it," Michael Eble told KPIX 5 news. "I think everybody that does participate in high risk scenarios should be on it."

New York state officials already have begun an investigation of Truvada users allegedly being denied life insurance. California regulators are now following suit.

Eble calls such denials "completely idiotic."

Gabrielle Antolovich, board president of the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center, says the insurance companies actions against LGBTQ users of Truvada is discriminatory.

"This is pure discrimination," Antolovich told KPIX 5. "The main message is that there will be lawsuits. There are many organizations who support the LGBTQ communities who will fight these cases and it will go up to the Supreme Court."

While some gay men say they have stopped taking Prep because of the threat to insurance coverage, Eble said it saves lives.

"It is it has something that has become a part of many people's daily lives," he said.

The California Insurance Commissioner is asking gay men who live in the state to come forward if they feel they've been denied insurance.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.