PrEP - Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a once-daily pill taken to prevent acquiring an HIV infection. It contains two of the antiretroviral medications that are used to treat HIV. When taken daily, PrEP reduces the risk of acquiring an HIV infection by up to 99%. It is recommended for anyone at higher risk of HIV infection. PrEP does not reduce the risk of other STIs nor is it a method of birth control.
When starting PrEP, a medical history, physical exam, and blood and urine tests will be completed at Student Health on Haven. You’ll be required to follow-up with your provider one month after first starting PrEP for repeat blood tests, and then a three-month supply will be prescribed to you.
Every three months after that, you’ll be required to visit SHS and be tested for HIV before your prescription is refilled, as the most significant contraindication to taking PrEP is HIV infection. Student Health will also monitor your kidney function and test you for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as indicated.
There are currently two medications that are approved for PrEP: Truvada and Descovy. Currently, Descovy is only indicated for people whose sex was assigned male at birth. Truvada is considered first-line therapy and is what Student Health providers generally prescribe.
Cost of Treatment
If you have the Aetna Student Health Insurance, the lab tests and medication are fully covered without co-pay. If you have coverage under a different insurance, you will be responsible for any copays and should check to see if your insurance covers LabCorp for testing, as that is where Student Health will send your lab tests. See our Insurance FAQs for more details.
Make an Appointment
To see a provider about starting PrEP, please visit the Student Health portal to select a “Medical Problem” or a “Routine Medical” visit. All providers at Student Health are trained and comfortable in prescribing PrEP.