Government covering cost of drug that reduces risk of HIV

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by Morinville News Staff

With the fourth-highest HIV rate in Canada, the Government of Alberta announced Oct. 1 it is now covering the cost of a medication that can reduce the risk of contracting HIV.

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a drug that helps reduce the risk of HIV infection. The government says many Albertans cannot afford the drug due to its $250 per month plus costs.

The province will make a generic version of the drug available at no costs to Albertans at high risk of exposure when the drug is prescribed by designated prescribers, including physicians or other health professionals who have specific knowledge in HIV prevention and are registered with the Alberta Health Services HIV PrEP Program.

“We are providing people with as many tools as possible to prevent the transmission of HIV and protect those most at risk. Covering the cost of this medication for the people who need it is an important tool in the province’s work to address HIV rates,” said Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, in a release Monday morning. “By working with health providers and community partners on prevention, education and understanding, we’re working to get to zero new HIV cases together.”

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis is a pill that is taken daily.

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