'We've been waiting for this for a long time': B.C. to fund HIV prevention drug (Dr. Julio Montaner)
People at high risk of becoming infected with the HIV virus will soon be able to access free medication to protect against it. Starting on Jan. 1, the province of British Columbia will cover the costs of pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment, also known as PrEP and involving the drug Truvada, for at-risk patients. The groundbreaking treatment that protects against HIV was developed in B.C., but its high cost made it inaccessible to many — until now.
Through an agreement to secure the generic form of the once-a-day pill secured by the B.C. Centre for Excellence for HIV/AIDS, the province has agreed to cover costs.
“By bringing down the cost of Truvada, both for treatment and prevention, it makes a great opportunity for us to expand on our abilities to effectively control HIV in the province.” said Dr. Julio Montaner, director of B.C. Centre for Excellence for HIV/AIDS and pioneer of the treatment.
Cherise Seucharan reports
Tiko Kerr, Vancouver Artist and patient of Dr. Julio Montaner