Programming Connection

HIV Prevention Clinic 

Toronto General Hospital
Toronto, ON
2017

Lessons Learned

  • Providers need to understand PrEP. Education to providers and communities on the existence and benefits of PrEP is critical to increasing the uptake of PrEP in Toronto and in Canada.
  • There are many benefits to engaging in a holistic biomedical HIV prevention program. A holistic PEP and PrEP program can have significant positive outcomes for non-HIV issues among clients. Screening for other health conditions (e.g., hepatitis C and other STIs), addressing broad health issues, and providing ongoing mental health supports to clients can improve their general wellness.
  • Co-located staff and services reduce barriers to access and engagement. Clients can access a number of experts in one clinic, all of whom are knowledgeable about PEP and PrEP. This makes access easier and ensures that clients do not have to discuss their reasons for accessing PEP or PrEP with different providers in different clinics.
  • Providing support around financial coverage of PEP and PrEP is crucial. The HIV Prevention Clinic social workers have extensive knowledge of private and public insurance plans/systems, which can support quick and easy access to PrEP for clients who cannot pay for it on their own.