STEP 1: Speak with your family doctor or nurse practitioner. They will ask you questions about your sexual activity and lifestyle to figure out if PrEP is right for you. Keep it real when you are answering the questions. Any good doctor or nurse should be focused on how they can support you. If the provider is judgmental or makes you uncomfortable, you should seek a new provider. However, if they simply don’t know much about PrEP, you can link them to the PrEP guideline from the Canadian Medical Association:
STEP 2: The family doctor/nurse will test you for HIV and other STIs. You will also get some other blood work done to check your overall health.
STEP 3: Get that prescription! You will need this to pick up PrEP at the pharmacy.
STEP 4: Choose a convenient pharmacy to fill your prescription. Please note: medsEXPERT Clinic + Pharmacy have the EXPERT knowledge and connections in HIV testing, treatment, PrEP & PEP, and Hep C all in one place!
STEP 5: Go to medical visits every month for HIV and STI testing and a general check up. Tell your provider about any challenges or side effects.
Is PrEP Expensive?
PrEP can be expensive, but public and private insurance can make it cheaper or even free. In Ontario, a month’s supply of PrEP pills costs around $250, depending on the pharmacy. You’d only have to pay that much if you didn’t have any type of insurance. If you qualify for the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODP) or OHIP+, then the government has you covered! If you can’t get ODP or OHIP+, then the Trillium Drug Program might be able to help you out.
- Public insurance for prescription meds for Ontario residents with a valid Ontario Health Card; meds must be bought in Ontario pharmacy.
- Under ODP, the cost of PrEP is automatically covered* for:
- Seniors (65 years and up) [you only have to pay a deductible, depending on your income]
- People on Ontario Disability Support Program [FREE]
- People on the Ontario Works program [FREE]
* You may have to pay a few dollars out of pocket when the pharmacy fills each prescription. This is called a co-payment or co-pay.
- Public insurance for prescription meds for Ontario residents with a valid Ontario Health Card.
- Under OHIP+, PrEP is FREE for folks who are 24 years and under, have OHIP coverage and are NOT covered by a private plan*. If you qualify, the coverage is automatic. You don’t have to pay anything under OHIP+. No deductibles, co-pays or other fees.
*The provincial government changed up OHIP+ in April 2019. Now there is a condition that if you have ANY type of private insurance coverage, you will not qualify for OHIP+.
Trillium Drug Program
Public insurance for prescription meds for Ontario residents with a valid Ontario Health Card and who don’t qualify for ODP or OHIP+.
- Trillium might be the best option for you if you don’t have private insurance or if it doesn’t (fully) cover PrEP.
- You have to apply to Trillium and pay an amount called a deductible that depends on your household income.
- Trillium is only worth it for some folks. You can figure out if the program is for you by comparing your deductible with the cost of PrEP (and any other prescription meds you take).
- HIVNow.ca calculator can do that deductible math for you.
If you have private insurance through your job or a family member/partner, check to see if PrEP is covered and how much you have to pay out of pocket. Combining private insurance and Trillium could save you money.
There are also a number of federal health programs:
Interim Federal Health Program
If you are a refugee or refugee claimant enrolled in the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), the cost of PrEP is covered as long as you are not receiving similar benefits via provincial government (e.g. Trillium Drug Program) or private insurers. Be sure to show your pharmacist the IFHP coverage document if this is your form of insurance.
Canadian Forces Health Care
If you are serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, your health coverage includes PrEP. You should be able to get a prescription for PrEP and get this filled at your base, wing or unit. An alternative option to access PrEP is to take your Canadian Forces Health Care Identification card (Blue Cross Card) to a community clinic and pharmacy.
Veterans Affairs Canada Health Benefits
If you are enrolled in Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) health programs, you have coverage for PrEP. Take your prescription and VAC card to the pharmacy in order to get the medication at no cost.
Below are some other programs and options to consider:
- PrEPStart covers the cost of three months of PrEP for people who do not have a drug plan.
- This is a great way to get started on PrEP right away while you search for the drug plan that is right for you. Click here to learn more about how to access PrEPStart.
Right now, the cost of generic PrEP is about $45 a month. If you are interested in learning more about how you can order generic PrEP online check out The Sex You Want Guide.
Coverage for Visitors to Canada
It is possible to import PrEP and get it sent directly to your current address. This option is available for visitors to Canada who have prepared the necessary paperwork for Canadian Border Services. Please click here for more information on how to set up this arrangement.
Find a PrEP Provider Near You
Looking for a clinic? Say no more.
Check out our recommended list of providers below:
Church Wellesley Health Centre
491 Church Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto M4Y 2C6 ON
461 Church Street
Toronto M4Y 2C5 ON
PrEP Clinic, Maple Leaf Medical
14 College Street, Suite 102
Toronto M5G 1K2 ON
PrEP Rx Clinic
34 Wellesley Street E
Toronto M4Y 1G7 ON
Sherbourne Health Centre
333 Sherbourne Street
Toronto M5A 2S5 ON
St. Michael’s Hospital - Positive Care Clinic
30 Bond Street, 4th floor
Toronto M5B 1X1 ON
St. Michael’s Hospital Family Health Team
410 Sherbourne Street, 4th floor
Toronto M4X 1K2 ON
The Village Pharmacy
473 Church Street
Toronto M4Y 2C5 ON
8 York Street
Toronto M5J 2Y2 ON
St. Michael’s Health Centre
80 Bond Street, (at Michael's Hospital)
Toronto M5B 1X2 ON
Planned Parenthood Toronto
36B Prince Arthur Ave
Toronto M5R 1A9 ON
The PrEP Clinic
344 Bloor St W
Toronto M5S 1W9 ON
Toronto General Hospital, HIV Prevention Clinic
200 Elizabeth St, 13th floor
Toronto M5G 2C4 ON
Toronto, ON Canada