How gay men (and others) can get free PrEP in Canada

I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with HIV/AIDS organizations over the years. From being a “celebrity server” at an AIDS Vancouver gala, to showcasing art for auction at A Loving Spoonful’s annual “Project Empty Bowl”, to selling raffle tickets at a variety of Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation fundraisers – the goal has always been to help improve the lives of those living with the virus while working on prevention and treatments.

One amazing advancement in the area of prevention is the development of Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or what’s more commonly referred to as PrEP. It’s a pill that can be taken once a day to reduce the risk of contracting HIV by up to an incredible 99%. In Canada the only approved brand name PrEP drug is called Truvada so if whether someone is talking about PrEP or Truvada they’re actually talking about the same thing. Truvada was approved by Health Canada in 2016, but was invented sometime around 2001 in the United States.

The company that invented PrEP made a deal in 2017 to begin manufacturing a generic version for Canadians as well, which has the same active ingredients, but is much cheaper. That deal helped PrEP take off in Canada and it’s why you can likely get it for a very low price or even for free while in the US generic PrEP is still unavailable and can cost anywhere from $1600 to $2000 a month!

So how can you as a queer Canadian get it for little to no cost? That’s where Freddie comes in! Freddie was created to provide healthcare for the LGBTQ2S+ community, which has traditionally been overlooked, stigmatized and marginalized. Their clinicians provide care with empathy, compassion and inclusion, without judgement.

Through Freddie you can get PrEP prescribed online and delivered to your door without awkward doctor visits, waiting rooms or hassle. More than 90% of their patients get PrEP for free, which they make both easy and convenient to get. Freddie combines caring clinicians with technology to streamline the whole process. It can be hard to talk about your sexual health, but their inclusive clinicians “get” LGBTQ2S+ folks.

Freddie is especially great as an accessible alternative to people in smaller and rural communities who often don’t have access to proper LGBTQ2S+ care. It’s important to have caring clinicians who are trained and understand our community and all of Freddie’s staff have received sensitivity training so there’s no worry about getting a sex negative or oppressive reaction to your questions.

PrEP can be an empowering tool to spark sexual freedom for many queer and trans people. It’s an effective way for sexually active people in the gay community and beyond to be able to protect themselves from exposure to HIV. So if you’re Canadian and interested in getting it for yourself take Freddie’s 1-Minute PrEP Assessment to find out if you’re one of the many who qualify!

This post has been sponsored by Freddie – they can be found on Instagram as @go__freddie

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