BC will now offer a daily drug that prevents HIV — for free

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Niko Bell writes at Xtra:

In just a few days, gay and bisexual men in British Columbia, and others at risk of contracting HIV, will have free access to a drug that significantly reduces the risk of getting infected.

After months of studying the question, the BC Ministry of Health will begin covering PrEP at no cost on Jan 1, 2018, through the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

Studies show that people who take PrEP (or pre-exposure prophylaxis) every day are at almost no risk of contracting HIV, and are unlikely to develop side effects.

The government’s decision to cover PrEP is a major victory for gay men’s health advocates in the province, who say access to the drug will bring down stubbornly high infection rates among men who have sex with men — who make up more than half of new HIV infections in BC — and curb an uptick of HIV infections among young gay men.

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