PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis)
PrEP is an HIV prevention strategy whereby individuals at risk for HIV take antiretroviral medication to reduce their risk of acquiring it. A number of studies have found oral PrEP to be highly effective, especially for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.
It is the use of an HIV medication (Truvada or Tenofovir) by someone who is HIV-negative before contact with the HIV virus to help prevent infection.
Taking PrEP Needs Planning and Commitment.
For PrEP to work you must:
- Start the medication weeks before any possible exposure to HIV.
- Keep taking it consistently for as long as you need it.
- HIV and STI testing is required every 3 months.
PrEP is not a replacement for condoms.
Regularly using condoms, and getting tested is an effective way to prevent HIV transmission. PrEP does not prevent other STI’s.
Consider PrEP if you:
- Have sex with guys of unknown HIV status or guys that are HIV-positive.
- Don’t use condoms.
- Sometimes uses condoms.
- Share injection drugs.
Taking PrEP daily costs about $900 per month. Generic versions are available for approximately $250 per month. PrEP is not covered by OHIP. Some private health plans will cover it.
Book an appointment with an HIV Specialist at the ARCH Medcial Clinic.
In Ontario, HIV is concentrated in priority populations for whom PrEP could be very beneficial and impactful as part of a combination approach to HIV prevention and sexual health care. Despite Truvada® being approved by Health Canada in February 2016 for PrEP it remains prohibitively expensive and out of reach to most people. In particular, individuals who lack the financial means to pay out of pocket and who don’t have health insurance.
In an effort to provide affordable solutions to accessing PrEP, the Gay Mens Sexual Health Alliance has created The PrEP You Want: How to Order PrEP Online as part of The Sex You Want. Canadian permanent residents are not permitted to receive medication by mail or courier from outside the country. However, a Canadian resident can enter the US, pick up, and return with up to 90 days of medication for personal use. With this guide, individuals interested in ordering generic PrEP can legally purchase, ship, and pick up their generic PrEP at their closest US border city. It does require a prescription from a licensed medical provider in Canada and costs range between $40 & $100 CDN a month. Ordering generic prep online is not new – individuals in the UK and Australia are already doing it. Which is widely accredited with playing a role in significantly reducing HIV infections in cities like London (UK), Brisbane (AUS) and San Francisco (US).
HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health Medical Clinic: To book an appointment with an HIV Specialist in either Guelph or Kitchener: (519) 780-5298 or 1 (877) 780-5298.
AIDS Committee Of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area (ACCKWA): #203 – 639 King St. W., Kitchener, ON N2G 1C7 (519) 570–3687 or 1 (877) 770–3687 http://www.acckwa.com