There's a daily pill to prevent HIV. Endorsed by the World Health Organization for use by people who are at risk for HIV, PrEP is more than 92% effective at preventing HIV transmission when taken daily. Thanks to community advocacy efforts, Health Canada recently approved Truvada for use as PrEP in Canada.
PrEP - the use of an HIV medication by someone who is HIV-negative to prevent HIV infection. PrEP stands for “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis”, meaning it is a tool to stop infection (“prophylaxis”) and is taken before you are exposed HIV.
Truvada – a medication used for the treatment of HIV by people who are HIV-positive and for the prevention of HIV by people who are HIV-negative. Currently the only medication approved for use as PrEP in Canada.
Go to a doctor you're comfortable with
Any doctor can prescribe PrEP. Go to your family doctor, or ask your doctor, a walk-in or a sexual health clinic for a referral to an HIV speciality clinic. For info on accessing HIV clinics in Toronto, click here.
Be specific about your sexual activity
Your doctor needs to know what types of risks you're taking, why you're interested in PrEP and how well you'll be able to take the medication consistently. Be clear and honest so your doctor has all the info they need to give you PrEP.
Be ready to get tested for HIV & STIs
Before you can start PrEP, you will need to get tested for HIV to make sure that you're actually HIV-negative. You'll have to go back every few months to get tested for HIV to make sure the PrEP is working. You'll also need to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and have other bloodwork done regularly.
Be prepared to educate your doctor
Unless your doctor is an HIV specialist, they may not be familiar about PrEP. The more you know about PrEP before your appointment, the more confident your doctor will feel in prescribing it for you. Check out these links for info that you can print off and bring to your doctor: BC’s PrEP Guidelines, American PrEP Guidelines, CDC PrEP Factsheet, and the World Health Organization’s Endorsement of PrEP.
Ask about coverage options
Truvada is an expensive medication, and many of us can't afford it without financial help. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see if they can help. Check out the info below or click here to find out more about coverage options.
your local MPP to voice your belief that PrEP should be available to people who need it. Find your MPP here.
this page with your friends.
Costs & Coverage
Truvada can cost $1000-1100/month. That's too expensive for most of us. Fortunately there may be coverage options available to you.
If you have private insurance, your policy may cover Truvada. If it doesn't currently cover Truvada, you may be able to upgrade your coverage, even through your workplace insurance plan. A pharmacist would be the best person to help you find out what coverage is available to you. If you call your insurer directly, try to keep the conversation brief, and only use the policy number and the Drug Identification Number (DIN) for Truvada (Truvada's DIN is 02274906).
If you access Ontario's public drug program through Trillium, through social assistance (OW or ODSP), or as a senior, you will need to talk to your pharmacist about coverage options. Truvada is currently only listed for coverage through the public drug program for use as HIV treatment, not as PrEP.
If you are a registered Indian according to the Indian Act, or an Inuk recognized by one of the Inuit Land Claim organizations, you can get PrEP covered through the Federal Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program. Find out more info here.
For detailed information about accessing PrEP, check out actoronto.org/PrEP/How