Nova Scotia will cover the HIV-prevention drug PrEP under the provincial pharmacare program, the government announced Friday.
The government said PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, helps prevent the spread of HIV, especially with people at high-risk for infection. It will be covered starting Monday.
The move comes days after CBC News reported a big increase in HIV cases in Nova Scotia. The province has seen 16 new cases already in 2018, compared to the average of about 16 for an entire year.
Dr. Robert Strang, the chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, said the drug is effective at preventing HIV infections when people also practice safe sex.
“There is now clear evidence on the effectiveness of PrEP in preventing HIV. Any steps that increase access to PrEP are important contributions to reducing the impact HIV has on individuals, communities and our health care system,” he said in a media release.
He said people interested in using the drug should talk to a primary health-care provider to find out if they’re eligible.