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

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Most Read