Steps to PrEP Care


PrEP is a prescription medicine 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 such as a doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist to get the prescription and blood work done. You will see a provider every 2–3 months while on PrEP to make sure you stay HIV-negative, treat any STDs, and support you with taking PrEP. PrEP is not available over the counter.

  • Talk to your provider: 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 Guideline or call the national clinicians’ PrEPline. If they decline to provide PrEP, find a PrEP-friendly provider, enter your zip code in our directory, or contact an online PrEP service.

  • Get your tests done: At your first medical PrEP visit, your provider should ask you about your goals for HIV prevention and 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. Even if you’re uninsured, you can still get PrEP through some of these assistance programs. Seek a PrEP navigator near you to help you figure out how to pay as close to $0 as possible for PrEP by using our Find a Provider search.

  • Keep up with your PrEP care: Being on PrEP means seeing a provider every 2–3 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.