N.S. government adds HIV prevention drug to pharmacare program


Published Friday, July 20, 2018 1:31PM ADT

Last Updated Friday, July 20, 2018 1:39PM ADT

HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government says it will add a drug that helps prevent the HIV virus to the provincial pharmacare program.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis — often referred to as PrEP — can be taken daily by people who are at a high-risk for HIV infection.

The Department of Health and Wellness says eligibility criteria will be based on national guidelines and recommendations from the Canadian Drug Expert Committee.

This announcement comes on the heels of news that Nova Scotia saw a significant increase in the number of new HIV infections so far this year.

In the first six months of 2018, the province recorded approximately 16 new cases of HIV — a number usually seen over the course of a year.

British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan publicly fund PrEP, which will be added to the program in Nova Scotia as of Monday.

Matthew Numer, chairman of the PrEP Action Committee in Nova Scotia, says jurisdictions that have publicly funded the drug have reported a 40 per cent decrease in new HIV cases.

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