PrEP-pedia

Posted by: The Village Pharmacy

Definitions of terminology related to PrEP - right here for your reference.  If you're researching PrEP, this is a great resource for you and to share with your friends. We'll keep adding more to this page, so check back often.


Drug Formulary

A list of drugs that are covered by an health insurance plan. Each insurance provider will have their own Formulary.

Generic Drugs

When the patents for a brand name drug expire, generic versions of those same drugs become available, once they are approved by Health Canada. Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients as the brand name versions, though the colour or shape of the pill may be different. Generic drugs are only approved if they are proven 'bio-equivalent' to the brand name, meaning they have exactly the same effect in the body. Generic drugs are cheaper, have the same chemical structure and are equally effective as the brand name versions. It's good to use generics when they are available as they help keep costs down for insurers and government health plans.

Generic Truvada

Generic Truvada consists of 2 drugs - emtricitibine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Generic Truvada is now available across Canada, and is approved in Ontario for PrEP. As of October 2017, there are 3 manufacturers of generic Truvada - Apotex, Mylan and Teva. Each of these manufacturers produce their own versions of generic Truvada. They each have the same effectiveness as the brand name version, but the colour, shape and size of the pill vary among each of the different manufacturers. 

Emtricitibine

Emtricitibine is one of two active ingredients in Truvada and generic Truvada.  If you get generic Truvada, the name of the medicine on your prescription label will be Emtricitibine Tenofovir and will include the name of the generic manufacturer, e.g. Apo-Emtricitibine Tenofovir.

HIV

“Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called a retrovirus, which infects the human immune system (the system in the body which is in charge of fighting off illness). HIV may cause AIDS (a collection of diseases and symptoms) by eventually killing the white blood cells, which a healthy body uses to fight off disease.” from: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV 

HIV Status

When you get tested for HIV, your results will be either HIV positive, or HIV negative. HIV positive means you carry the virus. HIV negative means you do not carry the virus. It’s important to get tested regularly to ensure you get treatment right away, and to prevent the spread of HIV to others.

MSM

Men who have sex with men. This term is often used in medical research studies and literature to refer to gay, bi, transwomen and those who were assigned male at birth but don’t identify as gay or bisexual, and who have sex with other men.

Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB)

The Ontario Drug Benefit program provides support for people who live in Ontario, and who need help paying for their medications. If you are 65 or older, you automatically qualify for the program. If you are under 65, you may still qualify for Ontario Drug Benefits. Programs such as the Trillium Drug Plan, Ontario Disability Support Program, Ontario Works fall under ODB. Here’s more information about the Ontario Drug Benefit program and how to apply.  As of September 28th, 2017, Generic PrEP is covered by ODB.  

PEP

Stands for ‘post-exposure prophylaxis’ to prevent HIV infection if you think you have been exposed to the virus. Being on PEP means taking HIV medications for 30 days to prevent the onset of HIV infection.

PrEP

Stands for ‘pre-exposure prophylaxis’ in reference to prevention of HIV infection before being exposed to the virus. Being on PrEP means taking Truvada or Generic Truvada once a day, every day.

Serodiscordant

A serodiscordant relationship is when 1 partner is HIV positive, and the other is HIV negative.

STDs

Sexually transmitted diseases. These can include syphillis, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes, genital warts, chlamydia and others. Often used interchangeably with STIs, however, having an STD means that the infection has progressed to the point you are experiencing symptoms or complications of the disease.

STIs

Sexually transmitted infections. These can include syphillis, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes, genital warts, chlamydia and others. Often used interchangeably with STDs, however, having an STI means that you are infected and may spread the virus, but you may not have any symptoms of the disease.

TasP

TasP stands for 'Treatment as Prevention.' When people who are HIV positive and receive effective treatment for HIV (i.e. they take HIV medications), they reduce the risk of passing the virus on to others, and therefore, prevent transmission of the virus. 

Tenofovir

Tenofovir one of two active ingredients in Truvada and generic Truvada.  If you get generic Truvada, the name of the medicine on your prescription label will be Emtracitibine Tenofovir and will include the name of the generic manufacturer, e.g. Apo-Emtracitibine Tenofovir.

Trillium

In Ontario, the Trillium Drug Program can help you pay for your high-cost medications if you qualify. It is a program that falls under the Ontario Drug Benefits program. Here’s more information about the Trillium program and how to apply

Truvada

Truvada is a medication that is used to treat and prevent HIV. There are two drugs in Truvada: emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (tenofovir). Brand name Truvada is produced by Gilead. As of September 2017, Generic versions of Truvada are approved by Health Canada and offer the same level of effectiveness as the brand name versions. Both brand name and generic versions of Truvada are available at The Village Pharmacy. Read more about Truvada on Gilead's site.  

Undetectable

When someone who is HIV+ and undetectable, it means that the virus is at such low levels in their blood, that it cannot be detected in a standard viral load blood test. This does not mean that the virus is gone. Rather, current tests for HIV viral load cannot detect levels lower than 40 copies of HIV in 1 ml of blood. For more information on HIV viral load, check out http://www.aidsmap.com/Viral-load/page/1327496/ 

U=U

U=U stands for ‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable.’ This term is used in reference when people who are HIV+ and taking HIV meds, have an undetectable viral load. This means that HIV is at very low levels in their blood, and the virus cannot be detected in a viral load blood test. When someone is ‘undetectable,’ they can’t pass HIV to their sex partners. For U=U to be effective, people who are HIV+ need to keep taking their medications as prescribed, see their doctors and get tested regularly. Here’s more info on U=U: http://www.catie.ca/en/positiveside/summer-2017/uu and https://www.preventionaccess.org/undetectable