Is PrEP right for me?

Published 13, Apr, 2015
Author // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

In a video interview, talks with Ryan Lisk and Mason McColl of the AIDS Committee of Toronto about the agency’s new education campaign to start conversations and share information about the use of Truvada as PrEP in the Canadian context.

Is PrEP right for me?

The evidence is now in. Science has proven that the use of Truvada (a fixed dose combination in one tablet of emtricitabine and tenofovir) as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective HIV prevention tool. 

Yet, almost three years now after the Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada as PrEP in the U.S., its approval in Canada for this purpose is nowhere on the horizon. While some doctors have agreed to prescribe it to their patients (prescribing an approved drug for a non-approved use, known as an off-label prescription, is not illegal), access currently remains an unsurpassable barrier for most Canadians who could benefit from it. 

Nevertheless, PrEP is creating a lot of buzz in Canada, particularly among gay, bi and queer men, who are 71 times more likely to get HIV than other men. Guys are talking about it among themselves and are increasingly asking questions of HIV prevention workers What is PrEP? Does it work? Would it be right for me? How do I get it? 

To answer these questions the community is asking, and to stimulate further discussions about PrEP in the Canadian context, the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) recently launched an education campaign called Is PrEP Right for Me? I recently sat down with Ryan Lisk and Mason McColl, the two staff members at ACT who are primarily involved in this initiative, to talk about the campaign and how guys are responding to it. 

You can view our discussion in the YouTube video below. You can also visit ACTs PrEP pages for further information.

About the Author

John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus

John McCullagh is the publisher of He's an HIV-positive gay man who’s been active in Toronto's LGBTQ community since immigrating to Canada from his native Britain in 1975. A social worker by profession, he's worked in government and the not-for-profit sector in both front-line and management positions. His experience includes research, policy analysis, strategic planning, program development, project management, and communications.  

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, John was a counsellor at the Toronto Counselling Centre for Lesbians and Gays (now known as David Kelley Services), an organization he co-founded and which was one of the first agencies in Toronto to offer professional counselling to those infected with and affected by HIV. 

Now retired, John volunteers with the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) and is a board member of CATIE, Canada’s national HIV and Hepatitis C knowledge broker.  

John regularly contributes articles to about his personal experiences of living with HIV and about issues relevant to Canada's HIV and LGBTQ communities.