November 28th, 2018

NDP calls for universal coverage of PrEP

Halifax -- As part of AIDS Awareness Week the NDP Caucus is calling on the Liberal government to provide universal access to PrEP; medication that when taken daily can prevent transmission of HIV.

“This is a straightforward approach to dealing with a significant public health issue,” said NDP Health Spokesperson Tammy Martin. “Nova Scotia needs to do better when it comes to HIV prevention. There is an increase in new cases in our province and this medication could help reverse that trend.”

Evidence from other jurisdictions that have implemented universal coverage shows a significant decline in new HIV diagnosis. Universal PrEP coverage should cost about as much as the lifetime costs of a single HIV infection.

“The current model of listing PrEP on Pharmacare will do little to prevent the spread of HIV,” said Matt Numer, Assistant Professor of Health Promotion at Dalhousie University. “We continue to see a spike in HIV cases in Nova Scotia, a real response from the Liberal government would include universal access to PrEP.”

Five other provinces provide better access to PrEP for those who need it. BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan all provide universal coverage for PrEP.