What is PrEP?
PrEP is an acronym that stands for ‘pre-exposure prophylaxis.’ PrEP is made up of two drugs, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine (FTC).This is a medication that is taken by people who are HIV-negative but have a high risk of being exposed to HIV. If you are taking PrEP, it will help prevent you from being infected with HIV if you are exposed to HIV.
On its own, PrEP can effectively reduce the risk of being infected by HIV but it is even more effective when used in combination with other HIV prevention tools, such as condoms. PrEP must also be used according to the instructions given to you by your healthcare provider. Incorrect use of PrEP, such as forgetting a dose, can cause the medication not to work. It is also important to remember that PrEP only prevents HIV infection, and does not prevent other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis or hepatitis. Condom use, dental dam use, and not sharing sex toys remains the most effective way for people who are sexually active to avoid these STIs.
To learn more, and for the most up-to-date information about PrEP, please visit CATIE’s website on the subject: http://www.catie.ca/prep
Accessing PrEP in New Brunswick
If you believe that you may be at high risk of being exposed to HIV, you can speak to a healthcare professional who will help you decide if PrEP is right for you.
For individuals on the New Brunswick Drug Plan: PrEP (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine)is included on the New Brunswick Drug Plan Formulary. This means that people who are enrolled in the plan should be eligible to have PrEP covered. For more information, the NB drug formulary is found here: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health/MedicarePrescriptionDrugPlan/NBDrugPlan/ForHealthCareProfessionals/NewBrunswickDrugPlansFormulary.html
For those patients who are NOT members of the drug plan, follow this link for information on how to join: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health/MedicarePrescriptionDrugPlan/NBDrugPlan/Enrol.html
For individuals with private drug coverage: PrEP may or may not be covered, it depends on the specifics of the plan. Consult your plan manual or talk to your plan administrator to learn if PrEP is covered for you.