Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is safe and effective medication. For those who are HIV-negative, PrEP reduces your chances of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use when taken as prescribed.

PrEP is highly effective when used as prescribed and active safer sex practices are used. Active safer sex practices include using condoms 100% correctly for each sexual encounter, knowing your partner’s HIV status, and reducing the number of partners. PrEP does not prevent other STIs or pregnancy.

Three medications for PrEP have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); their brand names are Truvada, Descovy, and Apretude. Truvada and Descovy are pills, Apretude is an injection. Generally, prescriptions for PrEP are filled through a pharmacy.

Who should consider taking PrEP?

PrEP works for All. PrEP medication being held up.PrEP is for people who do not have HIV and who are at risk for getting HIV from sexual activity or injection drug use.

PrEP Appointments

PrEP can only be prescribed by a healthcare provider. Students interested in learning more about PrEP or being prescribed PrEP can call and schedule an appointment with Student Health Services (703-993-2831).

First Visit

  • Your first appointment is one hour long.
  • Save time and complete forms in the Patient Portal before your appointment. Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to complete the check-in process.
  • Do not urinate one hour prior to the appointment. You should be prepared to provide a urine sample.
  • Be prepared to have lab testing (blood draw), including a lab test for HIV.
  • During your visit, your healthcare provider will conduct a thorough review your medical and sexual health history. You will be asked about drug use and symptoms of acute HIV. These questions are asked of all patients during PrEP appointments and are important for your overall health. Like all healthcare, this information is confidential.
  • If needed, vaccines may be administered.
  • You will receive a packet of information at your appointment about PrEP, safer sex, health insurance, options for uninsured patients and cost information.

Preparing for your first visit

Know your medical history, have a list of your current medications, bring your immunization record.

Learn more about PrEP. See resources below.

PrEP is a commitment. It must be taken as prescribed. Consider ways to help you take a daily, scheduled medication before committing to PrEP.

PrEP is a medication. This means it comes with side effects, cannot be taken with some other medications (interaction profile), and may have adverse effects (cause a reaction). Ask your healthcare provider about side effects and how you should respond to any side effects.

Consider the cost of PrEP follow-up appointments. There may be costs for the medication, lab tests – including an HIV test every 3 months, and possible other fees, such as for vaccinations. Contact your health insurance company regarding costs and your plan. There may be options available to you if you do not have health insurance.

Follow-up appointments

After the first appointment, if you begin taking PreP, you will need to schedule regular follow-up appointments.

  • One week from the first appointment to get the prescription
  • At 3 weeks
  • At 2 months
  • At least every 3 months while taking PrEP. Your HIV status will be tested every 3 months.

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control PrEP Information

Centers for Disease Control HIV Risk Reduction tool

Gilead Advancing Access Program

Greater than AIDS

PrEP Provider locator tool

Truvada for PrEP

Descovy for PrEP

Apretude for PrEP

What is PrEP?