The overall process for getting onto PrEP is fairly straightforward and accessible. An individual can get everything needed to get onto PrEP and receive their prescription within 10 days or so.

All of the information needed in regards to PrEP, including assessments for coverage, side effects, benefits, and more, is available here.

Assess Whether PrEP Is Right For You

   PrEP is a fairly complex medication that requires consistent administration to be effective (1/pill a day, every day), follow up STI tests every 3 months, and carries some minor side effects with it (nothing serious, but to be mindful of). For some individuals, these factors, as well as the stigma in association with HIV or sexual practices may cause them to consider not engaging in PrEP. It also depends on whether the level of risk-taking in regards to sexual activity warrants a PrEP Prescription. By no means am I trying to dissuade you, but these are important factors to consider.

Meet With A PrEP Prescriber Doctor

As a way of ensuring that this information/commitment is relayed properly, prevent wasteful prescribing, and assessing eligibility for full coverage, Doctors and Nurse Practitioners must undergo training to be approved PrEP Prescribers. Anyone can call and have an appointment schedule with an approved prescriber, and it does not have to be your family doctor.

The list can be found here.

Assess Your Risk To Have PrEP Fully Covered

During your Doctor’s appointment, you will be given the Hiri Assessment (HIV Risk Assessment). It is a series of about 10 questions about your sexual practices to gauge your overall risk for coming into contact with HIV.

For PrEP to be fully covered, your risk but be determined to be high enough to warrant coverage.

The Alberta PrEP guidelines contain all information in regards to specific details of the assessment (link at the top of the page).

Undergo STI Testing

 You will need to schedule STI testing with a sexual health clinic. You can find a list of clinics here.

The tests must cover C & G (Chlamydia and Gonorrhea): Urine, throat/rectal swabs, and

Blood Draws to test for: Syphilis/HIV, Hep B surface AB, anti Hep B, hep C

I recommend you make an appointment at the STI clinic at least a week prior to your Doctor’s appointment, so then your results can be immediately accessed & your prescription approved. 

Take Your Prescription To A Pharmacy

Within the Lethbridge Area, not many pharmacies know how to actively process a PrEP prescription.

I recommend going through the Pharmacy at Superstore, as the Pharmacist Justin knows the process very well, they keep PrEP in stock, and the dispensing fees are cheaper.