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PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)

What is PrEP?

A daily pill called Truvada that contains two anti-HIV drugs. PrEP is used by an HIV negative person to reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV. Truvada is the same medication used as treatment for an HIV positive person but in different doses.

How does it work?

For HIV to cause an infection it must first gain entry into the body, infect certain immune cells, make copies of itself in these immune cells, and lastly spread throughout the body. If taking Truvada, the medication will get into the bloodstream and genital and rectal tissues. Truvada then helps to prevent the HIV virus from copying itself which prevents a permanent HIV infection. For anal sex Truvada does not provide protection until 7 days after starting. It is also possible to be exposed to a Truvada resistant HIV strain, meaning you may not be protected while taking the medication.

Where do I get PrEP in Thunder Bay?

Umbrella Clinic

How much does it cost?

The cost of Truvada will depend on which coverage you have or if you have any. You may qualify for full or partial coverage if you have any of the following:

  • ODSP
  • Ontario Works
  • Lakehead University Student Health Plan
  • Private Coverage (drug plan through work, school or parents)

The expected cost out of pocket is approximately $1000 per month.

What happens once I start PrEP?

Like any medication PrEP may cause side effects. It is important you see your doctor for routine care and testing. While this drug is effective against HIV, it is not effective against other STIs. Condoms are still recommended.

For more detailed information on PrEP visit these links:

Need help figuring out if PrEP is right for you? Check out these links: