PrEP, short for pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a medication taken by HIV-negative people that helps prevent the contraction of HIV. Since it's a prescription medication, you'll need a prescription from a licensed medical provider. The first step to starting PrEP is figuring out whether PrEP is a good fit for you. This decision should be made between you and your medical provider.
There are various to get PrEP in Canada. Here are the most common:
1) Get PrEP in person
Speaking with your primary care physician, or family doctor, is a great place to start when looking to start PrEP. However, many GPs and primary care physicians are not familiar with PrEP, and are therefore not always comfortable prescribing it. If this is the case, you might want to ask them for a referral to an Infectious Disease specialist, who will likely be much more familiar with PrEP.
Either way, you should be completely open and honest with your medical provider about your sexual health and lifestyle. If your GP is not familiar with PrEP, if you don't have easy access to a GP, or you're not entirely comfortable discussing PrEP with your GP, then read on for alternative ways of getting PrEP in Canada.
2) Get PrEP online through Julius MD
If you don't feel comfortable talking to your family doctor about PrEP, if they are not familiar with PrEP, or if you are simply looking for a more convenient option, getting your PrEP online through Julius MD might be right for you.
With Julius, you can be seen by a licensed Canadian medical provider, who will help you determine if PrEP is right for you, and can write you a prescription for PrEP, if medically appropriate. All this from the comfort of your home. The Julius patform will serve as your home for PrEP, where you will have unlimited access to our specialized care providers for any questions and concerns on PrEP. You will also find all lab requsitions, lab test results and history of consultations on the platform, which is secure and confidential to protect your sensitive information.
If you have any questions, you can complete our free PrEP assessment to speak to a medical provider. You can also speak with our care team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A qualified medical provider will likely want to understand a few things before prescribing PrEP. First of all, they'll need to understand your lifestyle to determine how at risk you are of contracting HIV. Some factors that increase your risk of HIV infection include unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, and drug use.
Your medical provider will also ask you about your health profile and history, to make sure PrEP is a good fit for you. Finally, a lab test is required before getting a PrEP prescription, to make sure you're HIV negative, test for other STIs, and measure your liver and kidney functions.
We'd love to give you a straight answer, but the truth is that Medication pricing varies dramatically in Canada.
The price you'd pay for PrEP depends on which province you live in, whether you're covered by insurance or not, and which type of PrEP you are prescribed. Check out our article on the Cost of PrEP in Canada to learn more.