YouthCO is joining the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC) and many other AIDS service organizations and community-based organizations in calling for pan-Canadian pharmacare to be a fundamental issue in the upcoming national election. 

In terms of access to HIV treatment across Canada, we are fortunate to be located in British Columbia: our province has made antiretroviral medications available, free of charge, for everyone living with HIV. This year, British Columbia also significantly increased access to medications that can treat Hepatitis C, and to HPV vaccinations for those of us under the age of 26. We believe this level of access to medications for treatment and prevention is a necessity, not a luxury to be handed out based on the luck of where we live. 

We believe youth need a pan-Canadian drug plan so that treatment, care and support are a reality for those of us living with HIV and Hepatitis C, and who are managing other health conditions with medication, whatever province we call home. Our ability to access prescription medications should not be dictated by whether we live on-reserve or off-reserve, whether we are incarcerated or not, or whether we live with parents or guardians who have private drug plans. Our full statement on pan-Canadian pharmacare is available online here.

Since 1994, YouthCO has worked to provide peer support and education for youth living with, and affected by, HIV. Pan-Canadian pharmacare does just that: it will mean better health for youth living with HIV and/or Hep C, and more options for preventing HIV and hepatitis C from being passed between people. HIV and HCV treatment, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, are crucial tools for reducing the impact of these viruses in our communities. Pan-Canadian pharmacare should mean all youth in Canada are able to access medications as part of our care when it comes to HIV treatment or prevention, treating hepatitis C, and supporting our overall wellness.

In collaboration with CTAC, we have created a pre-election Community Toolkit for organizations and individuals who want to support the call for a national drug plan. The Community Toolkit explains how your organization can support the CTAC/YouthCO pre-election campaign, and gives you the tools to help put pan-Canadian pharmacare firmly on the political map!  

The Toolkit contains...

  • Actions you or your organization can take before the federal election on October 19th, 2015
  • Key messages that can be adapted for your organization
  • Social media content ready to share via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
  • Campaign logo that can be uploaded onto your website and shared via social media
  • Letter to the federal party leaders calling for a pan-Canadian pharmacare strategy
  • List of other organizations supporting pan-Canadian pharmacare and additional resources

We encourage you use the strategies and tools provide in the Toolkit and to share it with your networks. Together we are stronger. 

Post-election, we will be following CTAC's leadership as they continue to advocate for a national drug plan for people living with HIV and HIV/hepatitis C co-infection.  

Download the Toolkit

Open and save the logos

Information on voting for those of us who are 18+ years 


YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!