Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
What is PrEP?
- Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention medication for those who are HIV-negative and are at risk of contracting HIV. If taken correctly, this daily medication can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by up to 99%.
- Approved by Health Canada, PrEP works by using a combination of antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV from establishing a hold in your body. It requires a prescription from a physician or a nurse practitioner.
- A common brand of PrEP is Truvada, while the generic drug is Tenofovir DF 300 mg/Emtricitabine 200 mg.
- For more detailed information about what PrEP is, click here.
What is the cost of PrEP?
- PrEP is not currently covered in Manitoba unless you have First Nations & Inuit Health Branch benefits. Depending on the brand and whether your third-party insurance covers PrEP, the cost is typically $250 a month.
- To determine the cost of PrEP, you will need to contact your insurance company. Download our guide on what questions to ask your provider to determine how much PrEP will cost.
What you should know about PrEP:
- PrEP should be used together with other prevention strategies like condoms, as PrEP does not prevent other STI’s and blood-borne infections.
- PrEP requires daily adherence to the medication and HIV/STI testing, urine and blood work monitoring every three months.
- There are potential side effects to the medication, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and dizziness. There is also a risk of damaging your liver, kidney and bone health and developing drug resistance if a person becomes infected with HIV while taking PrEP.
How to PREP for PrEP:
Interested in taking PrEP? Follow these steps to get a prescription:
- Read about PrEP
- Decide how you will pay for the medication. Contact your insurance company to determine if you have coverage for PrEP or a portion of coverage.
- Speak with your primary care provider and request a prescription. If you don’t have a primary care provider, call us at 204-940-6000 to discuss obtaining a PrEP prescription.