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Question: 

How i can get TRuvada medication through BC health???

thanks.

Answer: 

Hi there and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. My name is Colin and I'm happy to answer your questions today.

Currently PrEP is in a strange sort of limbo in Canada. As you may be familiar, Truvada is the same medication (or one of the medications) that people living with HIV take to manage their viral loads. While Truvada has been approved by Health Canada for this use in treatment of HIV, it hasn't yet approved its use as PrEP in HIV-negative individuals.

As it stands, there are certainly doctors in BC and in the lower mainland who are willing to prescribe Truvada to HIV-negative people in what is called an "off-label prescription" meaning prescribing an effective medication for a use in which it wasn't specifically intended. From a medical standpoint, this is great, but unfortunately for those who would like access to PrEP, because it's use is not yet official, no provincial health plan will cover it for this use yet.

If you have private insurance through an employer, partner, or some other method, there is a much higher chance that they will be willing to cover Truvada for use as PrEP. If this is the case, you must pair with a physician to write you a prescription and you should check to see if there are lifetime premium limits that can apply to your insurance policy and if so, if the roughly $900/month cost is something you'd like to put towards that.

However, after all of that, I would highly encourage you to contact us here at AIDS Vancouver. We have a Health Promotion program that has had success partnering with patients and healthcare providers to find solutions (and provide PrEP!) to those interested. You must contact us and partner with someone here to figure out the best way to get you what you need. We can be reached from 8:30am-5:00pm PST Monday-Friday at 604-812-2838. We look forward to hearing from you.

I hope the information I have provided has been helpful for you. I encourage you to contact us and keep looking as the tide for PrEP is turning in Canada and I am confident we will be able to help find you a good solution.

All the best,

Colin

AIDS Vancouver Helpline

AIDS Vancouver Health Promotion: 604-812-2838