Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
What is PrEP?
PrEP stands for “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis”, meaning it is a tool to stop infection (“prophylaxis”) that is taken before you are exposed to HIV. Current clinical guidelines for PrEP recommend daily use of Truvada, Descovy, or generic versions for maximum HIV prevention benefits.
PrEP is endorsed by the World Health Organization for people who are HIV negative and at risk for becoming positive. It has been shown to be as high as 99% effective at reducing risk for HIV when taken every day (without missing a dose).[i]
PrEP works by disrupting HIV and preventing it from establishing a foothold in the body and causing a systemic infection.
PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections (ie. syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, genital warts, etc.), and it is not a cure for HIV.
More on PrEP
PrEP is an acronym that describes the overall prevention method (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It isn’t a new concept. Many other drugs are also taken prior to infection to prevent illness (e.g. Malaria medications before travelling).
In Canada, the drug Truvada (and its generics) as well as the drug Descovy are approved for use as PrEP. All are considered safe and effective forms of PrEP. Speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine which may work best for you.
Research is currently ongoing, but in the future additional antiretroviral medications may be approved to be used as PrEP such as once monthly injectables.
Other Key Facts
PrEP should be seen not only as a daily pill that prevents HIV, but a comprehensive sexual health plan that links you to ongoing care. In addition to getting a prescription from your doctor, PrEP will require ongoing visits with your doctor every three months to screen for HIV, side effects from the medication, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Frequently asked questions about PrEP can be found at the TheSexYouWant.ca.
Ontario PrEP is a page maintained by the OHTN and is a substantial provincial resource on PrEP: https://ontarioprep.ca/
For a detailed breakdown of accessing PrEP in Ontario, including an outline of public plans, how to handle private plans, and tools to help you access PrEP, visit HIVnow.ca – a page maintained by ACT for queer men.
For PrEP info with cis and trans women in mind, visit this site maintained by Ontario’s Women and HIV/AIDS Initiative: https://whai.ca/women-hiv-ontario/preventing-hiv/#whai-PrEP
Clinics Offering PrEP
PrEP is easy to get, but it’s especially easy if you know exactly where to look. We connected with several clinics in Toronto offering PrEP and have compiled their information below. Each clinic is happy to help new clients either through email or phone.
Julius is a leading LGBTQ+ virtual clinic for Canadians, specialized in PrEP care for HIV prevention. Get a FREE online doctor appointment to see if PrEP is right for you.
438-834-7737 – https://juliusmd.ca/
Maple Leaf PrEP Clinic
A PrEP clinic affiliated with the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic which is a large HIV treatment practice that is also often involved with research looking into the latest treatments for HIV and related infections. The Maple Leaf PrEP Clinic also has affiliations with HQ to help someone in need find a doctor and with other PrEP providers to help find the best coverage.
14 College Street – 416-920-1991
medsEXPERT Clinic and Pharmacy
A stigma-free, sex-positive pharmacy & PrEP Clinic by & for the LGBTQ2+ community!
461 Church Street – 416-922-MEDS (6337)
819 Queen Street West – 416-214-MEDS (6337)
An exclusively online PrEP service offering at-home testing and mailed prescriptions at either low or no cost.
437-747-7584 – www.gofreddie.com
The PrEP Clinic
Ontario’s full-service PrEP Care. (You can start the process in person or online.)
Toronto Clinic: 180 Bloor Street West
Brampton Clinic: 7700 Hurontario Street
Ottawa Clinic: 19 Main Street
416-420-1250 – https://www.prepclinic.ca/
Offering comprehensive HIV prevention services and PrEP access to individuals living in Toronto and across southern Ontario.
34 Wellesley St East – 416-792-9131
Located in the west end, SaferSix is a sex-positive, body-positive, pro-choice, inclusive health clinic for all genders and bodies.
27 Roncesvalles Ave. Suite 505, Parkdale (Toronto) – 647-657-4033
A friendly, fast, and reliable service from very experienced professionals. Helping patients through every step of the PrEP access process, from consultation to prescription.
473 Church Street – 416-967-9221
535 Yonge St, PrEP Clinic (Downtown Toronto) – 416-960-2323
2518 Yonge Street, PrEP Clinic (Midtown Toronto) – 416-487-9128
For assistance accessing PrEP contact:
ACT PrEP Access Coordinator: email@example.com
ACT General email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ACT Access Centre: 416-340-2437