NDP introduces legislation to create universal PrEP coverage

The province's New Democrats would like to see the HIV prevention medication PrEP universally available to anyone who needs it.

According to the CDC, when taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. 

The NDP say providing universal access to PrEP would cost about $1.5 million per year -- the same amount a single case of HIV costs the public health care system over the course of a patient's lifetime.

The party's health spokesperson, Tammy Martin, says when thinking about health care, we should consider how to prevent life-long illnesses rather than only reacting once people get sick.

Martin says the PrEP medication can make a huge difference in a person's life an cost shouldn't be the reason a person can't protect themselves from HIV.

There were 29 new cases of HIV in Nova Scotia in 2018, up from 15 new cases in 2017.