Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) will be available at no cost to Canadians in a number of hospitals and medical centers in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland Region, The Vancouver Sun reports. PEP is an HIV prevention tool that entails taking antiretroviral medication for about a month immediately following possible exposure to the virus. PEP must be started within 72 hours after exposure, and it can lower the risk of contracting HIV by about 80 percent. The new 18-month pilot project seeks to make PEP more accessible in hospitals that already treat a significant population of HIV-positive individuals. While British Columbia is the only region in Canada that has seen a threefold decline in new HIV cases in the past 15 years, the new PEP initiative hopes to reinforce this downward trend.

To read the Sun article, click here.