HIV prevention

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PAOV — The Northwest Territories does not currently cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an HIV prevention drug, despite rising HIV cases across the country. PrEP costs up to $250 a month in the territory without insurance, which petition starter William says puts the drug out of reach for those most at risk of contracting HIV. If you think that all Canadians should have access to HIV prevention drugs, sign the petition now.

Minister Green, Dr Kandola : Make HIV prevention medication free in Northwest Territories

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We ask the Northwest Territories Minister of Health and Social Services Julie Green, and the Northwest Territories Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola to implement coverage for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) available to all Northerners, at no cost. PrEP is fully covered in Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba (for some) and British Columbia but costs more than $250 monthly in the Northwest Territories if uninsured— this has to change. This is timely and relevant, as the GNWT is currently asking for feedback on proposed changes to the Extended Health Benefits Policy before October 14, 2022:

Why prevent HIV?
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, every 4 hours, one person in Canada is infected with HIV. HIV is a virus that is transmitted through infected blood/body fluid exposures such as sex, needle-sharing among people who inject drugs (PWID) as well as from a parent to child, during pregnancy or childbirth. HIV continues to rage across Canada, affecting many vulnerable populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and PWID, and we remain the only G7 country with rising incidence of HIV.

What is HIV PrEP?
HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) was approved in Canada in 2016. HIV PrEP is the use of an anti-retroviral medication (most commonly, Truvada), to prevent acquisition of HIV. People at risk for acquiring HIV may be prescribed this medication. Multiple studies have proven its benefit in preventing HIV in MSM, PWID as well as through heterosexual transmission. It has been shown to be cost-effective in multiple jurisdictions across the world including Canada. The coverage for a medication like Truvada varies across Canada. It is fully covered in many of our neighboring provinces and territories such as Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, removing cost as a barrier to this effective HIV prevention strategy. The typical cost of a month of Truvada in NWT is $250+. We hence urge you to consider implementing coverage for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in NWT.


The high price of HIV PrEP is a barrier to the many Northerners without drug coverage.

Let’s have PrEP covered in the Northwest Territories. Prevention is key.

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For more information, there are Canadian guidelines and advocacy material provided by CATIE.

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