PrEP Medications for HIV Prevention in Canada

At HIVPrEP, we encourage protection rather than treatment – which is the go-to option for most people. Some people prefer abstinence while millions use safer sex practices. With the introduction of PrEP (as an added protection), the management and prevention of HIV infection have greatly improved.

People used to engage in sex however they wanted (or anyhow) without regard to protection. Since the outbreak of HIV/AIDS and its unavoidable death sentence, engaging in sexual intercourse without knowing your partner’s HIV status is becoming dangerous.

Canada is at the forefront of educating and providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) guidelines to help individuals use effective recommended tools and medications that provide high levels of safety and protection.

Most people asked about PrEP HIV Canada or how to get these drugs in their country. As a Canadian, it’s time to take action and think about how valuable your life is. Once infected by HIV, your life will dramatically change.

Although HIV/AIDS is manageable and treatable, there is no cure and it’s not easy to cope with the situation. It’s not easy to stick to the daily medication for the duration of your life.

💊Is It Difficult to Get PrEP Medication in Canada?

The use of pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs is encouraged in Canada. Be considerate and protect yourself with PrEP. Protection is more important than treatment or cure.

Before Health Canada approved PrEP, people who wanted to protect themselves from HIV exposure had difficulty in getting medication. Then, Health Canada needed to do thorough research ensuring the use of HIV protection drugs was highly effective and tolerable.

This came true in 2016 when Health Canada approved Truvada [1]. Thereafter, other cost-effective Truvada generics equivalents for PrEP tablets also became available at an exclusively cheaper price compared to its brand-name counterparts –Truvada. People who are at high risk for acquiring HIV infection can now use these drugs on a daily basis with other safer sex measures to ensure higher protection is achieved.

Use of Truvada (TDF/FTC and generic versions of TDF/FTC for prevention of HIV-1 acquisition) are legit and available in government clinics throughout Canada. These medications are also available in Canadian pharmacies and several online drugstores.

Health Canada is also working on providing guidelines and resources for effective management and planning of pre-exposure prophylaxis programs [2].

🔍How and Where You Can Obtain PrEP in Canada?

Generic Truvada is available in various pharmacies and clinics in various parts of Canada. It’s true that people prefer cost-effective generics due to their cheap prices. The cost of generic Truvada is more than 90% cheaper as compared to the cost of the brand name version.

In Canada, Truvada – the brand name of PrEP – costs about $800 to $1000 or more. However, at some pharmacies, cheaper generic versions of Truvada can be as low as $250 a month (prices can be even cheaper if ordered from online anti-HIV drugstores).

Pre-exposure prophylaxis medication is covered in most of the Canadian provinces under various programs so that the costly drug can help sexually active Canadians who are at high risk of getting HIV to prevent the threat of acquiring the virus.

Among others, the following provinces cover PrEP for its citizens who are at high risk of being infected with the virus:

  1. British Columbia. In this province, HIV prevention medication is available through the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) Drug Treatment Program [3].
  2. All Saskatchewan residents who need to protect themselves from virus acquisition get PrEP coverage at no cost (since April 2018) [4].
  3. Albertan provides full coverage for generic versions of PrEP for eligible Albertans. To qualify, the Albertan must have an Alberta Personal Health Care Card provided through Alberta Health Care [5].
  4. With a valid Ontario Health Insurance Card (OHIP), [6] you can apply to get your PrEP covered through the Trillium Drug Program, Ontario Works, and Ontario Disability Support Program.

Other provinces who provide PrEP insurance include Nova Scotia, Quebec, and New Brunswick. If you’re not sure about your PrEP insurance, talk with your doctor for guidance.

If you need cheaper generic PrEP drugs immediately, visit your nearest healthcare provider, clinic, or your medical specialist for a prescription.

📃Useful Guidelines for Buyers in Region

Apart from using PrEP insurance for your medications, there are other cost-effective ways to get generic Truvada. Online anti-HIV drugstores sell generic PrEP at a substantially cheaper cost.

Canada permits the use of this medication through its insurance coverage plans, government clinics, and locally available pharmacies. To some extent, health Canada doesn’t allow permanent Canadian residents to order PrEP drugs from outside the country.

To ensure you follow the right steps in ordering your meds from other countries, i.e. through online orders, make sure you choose the right seller that complies with Canadian medical provisions and delivery.

Most online PrEP suppliers demand that you upload recommended documents to be processed together with your PrEP orders.

First, your order must be accompanied by a prescription from a doctor showing the doctor’s registration number, telephone number, and address. The doctor’s signature must also appear on the prescription.

Some online pharmacies may require a copy of the details page of the person’s passport for customs clearance purposes. In addition, some may need a copy of your work permit or study visa and a letter of intent.

Most importantly, note that most online orders must not exceed a supply quantity of 3 months.

📜Takeaway

Canadian citizens take pride in their excellent public health insurance system. Individuals who need PrEP should visit their medical insurance provider and express their HIV exposure condition for a prescription to Truvada or a generic Truvada medication.

Depending on your preference, you may opt to order generic PrEP that costs you less Canadian dollars. The availability of these treatments has gotten easier as they are highly effective, tolerable, and have fewer side effects.

Remember that pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs don’t protect you against other sexually transmitted diseases (or infections). That’s why other safer sex practices must be used when engaging in sexual intercourse. Don’t trust anybody whom you don’t know their health and HIV status.

Be informed and use the available Canadian PrEP guidelines to stay safe and protect yourself from acquiring HIV.

📚References:

  1. Regulatory Decision Summary – TRUVADA – Health Canada.
  2. Canadian guideline on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis and nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis. Darrell H. S. Tan, Mark W. Hull, Deborah Yoong, Cécile Tremblay, Patrick O’Byrne, Réjean Thomas, Julie Kille, Jean-Guy Baril, Joseph Cox, Pierre Giguere, Marianne Harris, Christine Hughes, Paul MacPherson, Shannon O’Donnell, Joss Reimer, Ameeta Singh, Lisa Barrett, Isaac Bogoch, Jody Jollimore, Gilles Lambert, Bertrand Lebouche, Gila Metz, Tim Rogers and Stephen Shafran; for the Biomedical HIV Prevention Working Group of the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network. CMAJ November 27, 2017. PDF.
  3. BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) Drug Treatment Program. PrEP eligibility, enrolment in the Drug Treatment Program, and how PrEP medication may be obtained.
  4. Saskatchewan Health Authority. Regina HIV PrEP Clinic.
  5. Alberta Health PrEP Coverage. PrEP Alberta.
  6. Apply for OHIP and get a health card. Ontario.ca
Logan Morris

Expert in pharmaceutical practice and antiviral medicine, founder of HIVPrEP. Main goal is to popularize HIV topics and create awareness for global masses on how to prevent the disease and how to use HIV medication safely.

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Logan Morris

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