Steps to PrEP Care

PrEP is a prescription med that an HIV-negative person takes to prevent infection in case they come in contact with the virus. It is highly effective when taken as prescribed and can be used by all genders and all sexes to protect themselves during vaginal, frontal or anal sex or when sharing needles.

  • Start PrEP: This begins with seeing a clinician to get the prescription and blood work done. You will see a doctor every 3 months while on PrEP to make sure you stay HIV-negative, treat any STDs and to support you with taking PrEP. PrEP is not available over the counter.

  • Talk to your doctor: If you’re able to discuss PrEP with them and they’re willing to prescribe it for you, then great! If they don’t know about PrEP and are willing to prescribe, they can read the federal PrEP Guidelines or call the national clinicians’ PrEPline. If they decline to provide PrEP, find a PrEP-friendly doctor, enter your zip code in our directory, or contact an online PrEP service.

  • Get your tests done: At your first medical PrEP visit, your doctor should ask you about your goals for HIV prevention and your ability to take PrEP; take routine tests for HIV, STDs and kidney health; provide a prescription; and hopefully work with you on how you’ll cover the costs.

  • Cover costs: If you have health coverage, most insurance covers PrEP. However, check your plan to see what your copay and deductible costs are (your out-of-pocket costs). If your out-of-pocket costs are high, contact various assistance programs to help you cover those costs. PleasePrEPMe can help explain these in further detail to you. Even if you’re uninsured, you can still get PrEP through some of these assistance programs.

  • Keep up with your PrEP care: Being on PrEP means seeing a doctor every 3 months, getting routine blood work done, and getting your PrEP regularly refilled on time. It also means making sure to re-apply to assistance programs on time if you use them.

  • Possible HIV exposure: If you are currently not on PrEP but believe that you have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hrs, we suggest seeking PEP services. PEP is a 28-day pill regimen that can be taken within the first 72 hours after a possible HIV exposure. You can get PEP by contacting your doctor, or going to your local Urgent Care or Emergency room. PleasePrEPMe also provides more information on PEP.