Alberta will pay the costs of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for everyone starting October 1st.
“It’s all about public health, health promotion and disease prevention,” said Premier Rachel Notley.
The surprise announcement was made Saturday at a fYrefly camp funding event, which offers leadership retreats for queer and transgender youth.
“Making [PrEP] more accessible and affordable for those who are most at risk of getting HIV reduces the incidence of the disease … It’s as simple as that! Notley said.
The charity event in which the Premier participated was organized as part of Pride Week in Calgary.
Prevent rather than heal
Pre-exposure prophylaxis involves taking one pill of an antiretroviral drug a day.
The trouble is that the drug costs up to $ 1000 a month and that treatment remains a mystery to many doctors.
That’s why the Premier has announced an increase in the number of doctors who can prescribe Truvada for PrEP.
“It’s a giant step towards accessibility,” says Pam Krause, President and CEO of the Calgary Sexuality Center.
For physician and MPP David Swann, the accessibility of PrEP is “a real advance for the prevention of a highly destructive disease that will reduce costs [for the health system] and save lives.”
Bryce Fortino is a Senior Politics Reporter at Spruce Tribune covering state and national politics, . Before joining Spruce Tribune Chronicle, Bryce worked on several provincial campaigns including Jack Layton. Bryce has worked as a freelance journalist in Toronto, having been published by over 20 outlets including CBC, the Center for Media and VICE.com.