Health Initiative for Men

Talking to your doctor about PEP

Some guys can find it intimidating to speak to their doctor or healthcare provider about PEP. HIM has developed a Healthcare Provider Support Tool that you can download, print and take with you. Here are some tips that might help with the conversation:

  • Doctors and healthcare providers are professionals, and everything you discuss will be held in the strictest confidence. You can be honest with a doctor; physicians deal with sexual health issues every day.
  • Having a conversation about PEP may be uncomfortable, but living with HIV is more uncomfortable. PEP is a tool that could help prevent HIV from taking hold permanently.
  • You do not need to feel embarrassed about the frequency/type/kind of sex you’re having. If you’d like to reduce your risk of picking up HIV, or improve your sexual health, a doctor or healthcare provider can help you.
  • Many guys access PEP after a “slip up” – condomless anal sex, sex with a stranger, or a hookup outside of a relationship. Your doctor is focussed on making sure you’re healthy, not the circumstances of how you have sex.
  • If you’re a guy who doesn’t usually have sex with other guys, don’t be afraid to tell a doctor or healthcare provider about the type of sex you had. They will keep the information confidential, and will be better able to determine whether PEP is right for you.
  • If you don’t want to speak to your family doctor, or can’t get an appointment right away, go to the emergency room at St. Paul’s Hospital (or another pilot project location) right away and ask for PEP.
  • All doctors in British Columbia can prescribe PEP. If you get a prescription from somewhere other than the pilot project locations, you will be charged for the medicine (some health insurance plans will cover PEP). PEP is only available free of charge at the pilot project locations. PEP can cost between $700 and $1,500 at other locations.