Canada’s health system was built on the idea of universal access. We believe in taking care of each other. People might wonder if the government can afford PrEP—we say, when it comes to HIV prevention, we can’t afford to leave anyone behind. LIST PREP NOW.
What is PrEP?
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective at preventing HIV. It is one pill (Truvada), taken once a day. PrEP was approved in the USA in 2012. Despite being approved in Canada in early 2016, most Ontarians who need PrEP cannot afford the cost.
PrEP works! When taken every day (as prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner), it is as effective (if not better) at preventing HIV as condoms. PrEP will not prevent other STIs or pregnancy but PrEP has helped people access the health care services they need—people on PrEP check-in with a health care professional every 3 months, and get tested regularly for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
PrEP is a revolutionary new HIV prevention tool—people and communities can’t wait. We need more prevention options now. Our government has a responsibility to support HIV prevention. That’s why we’re asking you to tell the Ontario Government to increase access to PrEP by listing it on the “general formulary” of Ontario’s Public Drug Program. The Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program covers most of the costs of a group of prescription drugs. The list of drugs that are covered under the program is called the Formulary. For more information on the ODB and to find out if you are eligible, click http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/drugs/programs/odb/odb.aspx
You can help by signing a postcard and sharing this call to action with others!
Most people and communities in Ontario who might benefit most from PrEP can’t afford it. But we can work together to change that.
Certain people and communities are hit hardest by the HIV epidemic. Among new HIV cases in Ontario in 2014∗:
- 6 in 10 were gay men
- 1 in 5 were women
- almost half were among people of colour
- 1 in 10 were Aboriginal people
- and we still don’t have data on how many trans folks contract HIV in Ontario.
It’s clear we need more HIV prevention options. LIST PREP NOW.
Right now in Ontario, people who want and need PrEP are being left behind. To buy it at the pharmacy, Truvada costs $1000 per month. Can you afford it?
Some private prescription drug insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost of Truvada for HIV PrEP. But our public drug plan—called the Ontario Drug Benefit—is lagging behind. This means that many low income people, younger people, people on social assistance, people with disabilities and seniors don’t have the same HIV prevention options as people who have generous private insurance plans.
This fall, Minister Eric Hoskins (Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care) will decide whether people should get Truvada for HIV PrEP under the Ontario Drug Benefit. He can ensure broad access to PrEP by listing Truvada on the public drug plan’s “general formulary”—so that doctors can prescribe it without the need for pre-approval or a special application. Help us convince Minister Hoskins to do the right thing. LIST PREP NOW.