Fewer people are needing access to prescription medication when it comes to limiting the spread of HIV.
According to the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, a 30% drop took place in PrEP prescriptions between April and May along with a 70% decline in new sign-ups to the program.
The pre-exposure treatment is mostly used by gay, bisexual men or transgender women.
Senior Manager, Dr. Junine Toy outlined the latest numbers for Northern Health to MyPGNow.com.
“We have about 80 applicants into the prevention program for Northern Health and probably about 50 active clients at any one time.”
Under normal circumstances, the PrEP program sees 150 to 200 new members per month, a figure that has plunged because of COVID-19.
Toy believes some of the declines were attributed to social distancing and people changing their activities.
However, when asked if people living in the north are delayed in receiving their medication, Toy added that’s not the case.
“The intention is to serve across the province and BC is pretty large and there are many individuals living in rural and remote areas but the program is designed to get medication to individuals to people wherever they live in the province.”
In addition, she mentioned several clinics across BC that offer PrEP may have reduced services during the early days of the pandemic, which could also explain the decline in prescriptions.
Toy mentioned the Post-Exposure Prophylaxis is available for people who experience an isolated HIV exposure and can access the medication kit in emergency departments throughout BC.