In August 2016, the Common Drug Review recommended PrEP for coverage, contingent in part on a lower price for the drug Truvada being secured. (Avert.org)

Province to fully fund HIV-prevention drug PrEP

B.C. government to fully fund pre-exposure prophylaxis following pressure from activitsts, doctors

A preventative medication to protect British Columbians who are at a high risk of HIV infection will soon be made free, following activists and doctors calling on the government to subsidize the drug.

Effective Jan. 1, pre-exposure prophylaxis – also known as PrEP – will be available at no cost through the BC Centre for Excellence’s HIV Drug Treatment program, which is funded by the Ministry of Health through the B.C. PharmaCare program.

Daily use of the oral antiretroviral medication is recommended by the World Health Organization and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS as an effective method to prevent HIV in people at risk of infection, the province said in a statement Thursday.

READ MORE: Battle to beat AIDS offers lessons in fighting opioid crisis

READ MORE: Justice ministers talk HIV non-disclosure in Vancouver

In an open letter to the province published in August, B.C. doctors and public health groups including AIDS Vancouver Island and Living Positive Resource Centre called on Premier John Horgan to begin funding the drug.

“As organizations that serve vulnerable populations, we know that PrEP works and that stigma around talking about sex, HIV, and being gay is a continued barrier to reducing HIV diagnoses. We know more than ever about how to treat this virus and how to prevent it,” the letter read.

In addition to funding PrEP, the province is also expanding the existing PEP program to include coverage for non-occupational exposure, so those who are exposed to HIV have immediate access in order to prevent a new infection.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Funder for Down Under in Courtenay raises thousands for Australia

Organizers still tallying up proceeds but expect to donate at least $8,000

Fourteen Comox Valley kids get bikes through Share the Ride

Several businesses combine efforts to get bikes and other cycling gear

Comox Valley artist’s mask heading to prestigious U.S. museum

John and Peggy Varnedoe purchased the piece and have donated it to the Burke Museum in Seattle.

Perseverance Week raises more than $155,000 for Cumberland Community Forest Society

The Cumberland Forest’s Perseverance Week (Oct. 21-31, 2019) fundraising drive totals are… Continue reading

Musical feast celebrates Lunar New Year in Courtenay

Chai Found Music Workshop performs contemporary take on Chinese music Jan. 27

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on… Continue reading

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

‘Epic sky palace’: B.C. businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

B.C. teacher suspended for poking student in stomach, pulling another’s ponytail

Teacher also swore in classroom, used Facebook to contact students

Larry Walker Jr. and Sr. keeping expectations low for hall-of-fame induction

Walker needs 75 percent of votes in order to be inducted into Cooperstown

Most Read