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What is PrEP?

PrEP is used by people who are HIV negative to help prevent them from getting HIV. PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It involves taking a prescription pill that contains two medications. It is very important to take the pill as prescribed for it to work.

What else should I know?

  • It works! It is extremely rare to get HIV if PrEP is used correctly.
  • You have to be HIV negative to take PrEP.
  • You need to have an HIV test before starting PrEP.
  • PrEP is an option for anyone at high risk for HIV.
  • Most people on PrEP take one pill every day.
  • Taking PrEP involves regular medical appointments for monitoring and support.
  • It is safe and usually well-tolerated.
  • It is approved by Health Canada and is prescribed by a healthcare provider.
  • The cost may be covered by your private or public drug plan.

How do I know if PrEP might be right for me?

Some simple questions can help guide you through thinking about whether PrEP might be right for you.

  • Do you sometimes have sex without condoms?
  • Do you have sex partner(s) whose HIV status you don’t know?
  • Do you have sex partner(s) who are HIV positive but are not on successful treatment?
  • Have you had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past year?
  • Have you used post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) more than once?
  • Are you thinking about having a baby with an HIV positive partner who is not on successful treatment?
  • Do you ever share equipment for injection drug use?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might be a good candidate for PrEP.

Talk to a healthcare provider to help you make the final decision about whether PrEP is right for you. PrEP is relatively new so you may prefer to find a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about PrEP.