PrEP prescription available online 

With close to 1.2 million people in the United States living with HIV, prevention is crucial.(1) Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission by over 95 percent.(2) Book an appointment with one of our top-rated doctors to discuss getting a PrEP prescription and take the first step towards a healthier, safer future.*

Book an appointment

PrEP, when taken daily, is 99% effective in preventing HIV(3)

Comprehensive PrEP care from the comfort and privacy of your own home

At-home HIV and PrEP testing available

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how you can save up to 80% with our prescription discount card.  

What is PrEP and how does it work?

Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) plays a crucial role in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This preventive medication is specifically tailored for individuals at high risk of HIV infection. By taking PrEP, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of contracting HIV. There are a few forms of PrEP available:    

  • Truvada: Truvada, the original PrEP medication, contains emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). It remains a widely used and effective option for HIV prevention.  

  • Descovy: Descovy is a newer alternative to Truvada for HIV prevention. It contains emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and is highly effective in reducing the risk of HIV transmission. Learn more about the differences between Descovy vs. Truvada.  

  • Apretude: Although not available by telemedicine, Apretude is a more recently approved medication for HIV prevention that offers an alternative delivery method. It is an injectable suspension of cabotegravir, administered every two months, providing a convenient option for individuals who may prefer injections over daily pills. It has to be provided in a clinic, however, so can’t be prescribed for you at home. Our doctors can help refer you to in-person clinics that may provide this option. 

Both Truvada and Descovy contain emtricitabine and tenofovir versions, which target essential proteins needed for HIV replication. PrEP prevents the virus from establishing itself in the body by disrupting these viral processes. These PrEP pills must be taken daily. It's crucial to stick to your daily PrEP routine to ensure that there are adequate levels of the medication to prevent HIV transmission during potential exposure.   

Benefits of getting PrEP online:  

  • Convenience: By obtaining PrEP online through PlushCare, you can access expert medical care from the comfort of your home. Our Care Team is available 24/7 to provide personalized guidance and support, eliminating the need for in-person visits and lengthy wait times.  

  • Clinically effective: The results from numerous clinical trials reviewed by the US Preventive Services Task Force overwhelmingly support the effectiveness of PrEP in preventing HIV transmission. Whether taken orally or through alternative methods such as dapivirine vaginal rings or long-acting injectable cabotegravir, PrEP consistently reduces the risk of HIV acquisition across diverse populations and settings. High adherence levels significantly enhance its protective benefits, underscoring the importance of consistent use. (1)

  • Streamlined process: We streamline the process of obtaining PrEP, from initial assessment and testing to prescription fulfillment, making it easy for individuals to navigate the steps involved in starting and maintaining their PrEP regimen.  

  • Cost-effective: PrEP offers an affordable solution for HIV prevention, particularly when compared to the ongoing expenses of HIV treatment. Additionally, cost assistance programs are available to help make PrEP more accessible.  

  • Reducing stigma: PrEP empowers individuals to take control of their sexual health by providing a proactive measure against HIV infection. Accessing PrEP online offers a discreet option that can reduce the stigma associated with seeking HIV prevention methods in person. This approach encourages more individuals to take charge of their health without fear of judgment or discrimination.

How much does PrEP cost?

Our dedicated PrEP team is committed to supporting you every step of the way, including addressing any questions or concerns you may have about the cost of PrEP. Suppose you need clarification on affordability or need assistance covering the expenses. In that case, we can provide guidance on available assistance programs, help you navigate insurance coverage, and explore options to make PrEP more accessible.

  • Our dedicated PrEP team is committed to supporting you every step of the way, including addressing any questions or concerns you may have about the cost of PrEP. Suppose you need clarification on affordability or need assistance covering the expenses. In that case, we can provide guidance on available assistance programs, help you navigate insurance coverage, and explore options to make PrEP more accessible.

  • Will my private health insurance plan cover PrEP?

    If you have private health insurance, PrEP is likely covered, especially Truvada, which is now generic. Our team assists with any necessary paperwork, and you'll typically pay your standard drug copay for PrEP. For questions about insurance coverage, feel free to email us at [email protected].

  • Assistance programs for the uninsured

    If uninsured, please email our PrEP team at [email protected] for advice. The drug maker of Truvada, Gilead, has a copay assistance program that makes getting on Truvada highly affordable to almost anyone. It can help cover the cost if you meet the income criteria.

    There are many places to get low-cost PrEP, and many government and nonprofit organizations provide assistance. However, this greatly varies by the city and state where you reside.

    If you need guidance or have questions about accessing affordable PrEP, our dedicated PrEP team is here to help. For residents of San Francisco, Healthy San Francisco covers PrEP costs for eligible individuals. For any other inquiries or issues, contact us at [email protected] or 1-888-660-1464.

    Your health and well-being are our top priorities, and we're dedicated to ensuring that cost is not a barrier to accessing this vital HIV prevention medication.  

PrEP labs: convenient testing options

We offer two convenient options to complete the necessary PrEP lab testing to get on and remain on PrEP: our doctors can either order tests to your nearest lab (Quest Diagnostics, Labcorp, or any local clinic or hospital lab), or you can opt for our convenient at-home testing service.

  • Our at-home testing service offers convenience, accessibility, privacy, comprehensive testing options, prompt results, and supportive guidance each step of the way, empowering you to prioritize your sexual health with confidence.

    To get your at-home PrEP lab kit, email [email protected] to request an at-home PrEP lab kit or book an appointment with one of our doctors, who can order it for you. PrEP lab testing kits are mailed directly to you within 1-3 days. You'll receive a confirmation email with the expected shipping and result times. Your kit will include illustrated instructions and a video link on completing your labs.

    Our comprehensive at-home testing kit screens for all STDs necessary for initiating or continuing PrEP:  

    • HIV-1, HIV-2, and HIV-1 p24 antigen testing   

    • Syphilis test  

    • 3-site chlamydia and gonorrhea test  

    • Creatinine levels  

    • Additionally, the initial screening includes:  

    • Hepatitis B and C blood test  

    • Lipid panel (cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL)  

    • Pregnancy urine test (if female at birth) 

    For self-pay patients, an initial screening costs $254, and follow-up testing costs $160.* However, insurance can partially, or many times fully, cover this cost.

  • How much do PrEP at-home lab tests cost with insurance?

    Most patients with in-network insurance for PrEP-related testing are covered in full with little to no out-of-pocket costs!

    Your PrEP lab testing kit and shipping costs are not covered by insurance and will be $59. This is a standard shipping cost for all at-home lab testing kits, regardless of the lab(s) used.

    *All tests have a $19-$59 shipping and kitting fee in addition to the cost of the test panel. If you have in-network insurance coverage, much of the testing cost will likely be covered. If you have out-of-network coverage, the price is capped at $99.

Side effects of PrEP

While side effects associated with taking PrEP are generally mild, it's essential to be aware of potential symptoms. Common PrEP side effects may include:  

Less common but potentially more severe side effects could include: 

  • Lactic acidosis  

  • Sudden or unusual bone pain  

  • Kidney or liver problems 

If you experience any of these side effects or notice any new or concerning symptoms, it's essential to contact your doctor promptly. Additionally, if you develop symptoms of HIV, such as muscle or joint pain, sore throat, or night sweats, seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor can provide guidance and support to address any side effects or concerns related to PrEP use.

How to take PrEP

Taking PrEP correctly is essential for its effectiveness in preventing HIV transmission. Your doctor or pharmacist will provide you with instructions on how to take your PrEP prescription. Here are some general guidelines about taking PrEP:  

  • Timing and administration: PrEP can be taken at any time of the day, with or without food. It's best to take PrEP consistently at the same time each day to maintain protective levels of the medication in your body. Follow the specific dosing instructions on your prescription and avoid changing your dosing schedule without consulting your doctor.  

  • Regular monitoring: While taking PrEP, you'll need to undergo regular lab tests, every three months, to monitor your liver and kidney function and bone density. These tests ensure that PrEP is safe and effective for you.  

  • Additional HIV prevention measures: Remember that PrEP alone does not provide complete protection against HIV infection. It's essential to use additional safe-sex practices, such as condom use, and regularly test for HIV to maintain optimal protection.  

What happens if I miss a dose?  

Consistency is vital when taking PrEP to maximize its effectiveness. If you miss a dose, take the missed dose immediately, but do not double up on doses.

PrEP is most effective when taken every single day. Missing doses can significantly reduce its effectiveness. If you have concerns about missed doses or need further guidance, consult your doctor for personalized advice.

What to avoid while taking PrEP

When taking preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), it's crucial to be aware of potential interactions with other medications to ensure the effectiveness of your treatment. Here are some guidelines on what to avoid and consider while on PrEP.

  • Before making any changes to your medication regimen, always consult your doctor or pharmacist. This includes other medications, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs

  • Who should not take PrEP?

    PrEP is not for people who are HIV positive or have recent symptoms of a new HIV infection. If you think you have symptoms of HIV or are unsure, book an appointment with one of our doctors or see another doctor to get treatment immediately.

    PrEP is more risky or not recommended for people who have severe kidney disease, osteoporosis, chronic hepatitis B, or pregnant women. Talk to one of our doctors about getting on PrEP or finding another treatment plan that is appropriate for you.

  • Potential interactions

    PrEP may interact with certain medications, including:  

    There are no known interactions between alcohol and PrEP. However, it's important to note that excessive alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system, potentially making it harder for your body to fight an HIV infection. It's recommended to consume alcohol in moderation while on PrEP to maintain overall health and well-being.

    Being informed about potential drug interactions and alternative medications is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of PrEP and ensuring optimal HIV prevention. Always consult your doctor to discuss any concerns or questions regarding your PrEP regimen and explore the best options for your needs. 

PrEP prescription FAQs

  • Why should I take a pill every day to prevent HIV?

    For someone who is at risk of getting HIV, taking a pill a day is a small price to pay for preventing HIV. Just like women avoid pregnancy by taking a birth control pill, you can prevent HIV by taking PrEP every day. 

  • Who can take PrEP?

    PrEP is for people who are HIV-negative, are over 18 years of age, and meet one or more of the following criteria:  

    • Don't use condoms every time  

    • Have sex with multiple partners  

    • Have had STDs before, once or multiple times  

    • Have a partner who is HIV positive or is of unknown status  

    • Inject recreational drugs  

    • Trying to get pregnant with an HIV-positive partner  

  • Besides the pill, what else do I have to do to get PrEP?

    Taking the pill daily, getting tested for HIV and other blood work once every 3 months, and seeing a doctor every 3 months are all necessary parts of PrEP. 

  • Does PrEP prevent other STDs?

    PrEP does NOT prevent other STDs. Wearing condoms every time is the most effective way of preventing most STDs. However, our doctors can prescribe DoxyPEP, a preventive measure to protect against syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea in men who have sex with men and transgender women. Talk to our doctors to learn more.  

  • Do I take PrEP forever?

    PrEP only needs to be taken while you are at high risk of HIV. As your life and sexual habits change, you may or may not need to continue PrEP - this is a question you and your doctor should discuss regularly. With PlushCare, you can book an appointment to speak with a doctor from anywhere at your convenience as your needs change.  

  • How quickly does PrEP work?

    PrEP takes about 7 days before it is fully effective in rectal tissue, which is the most common need. For the first week you are on PrEP, you should continue to use condoms every time you have sex to prevent HIV. If you are concerned about other STDs (e.g., gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, etc.), condom use is encouraged, as PrEP is only effective for preventing HIV.

    It may take longer for PrEP to be effective in vaginal tissue, oral tissue, or for injection drug users, so it is best to talk with your doctor about your specific needs. 

  • Can I still get HIV while on PrEP?

    PrEP is incredibly effective if you take it every day, with more than 99% chance of protection.3 The effectiveness decreases significantly with each dose you miss, so it’s very important to take it daily.

  • My regular doctor won't prescribe PrEP; what should I do?

    We are here to help. You can get PrEP from PlushCare because all our doctors are trained in prescribing and monitoring PrEP so that everyone who needs it can get it.  

  • Should I take PrEP if my partner is undetectable?

    No, you don't need to take PrEP if your sexual partner has been undetectable for at least 6 months. An undetectable viral load after that point means the level of HIV is too low to measure through blood tests. As a result, HIV will not be transmitted through sex.

  • Does PrEP work if I think I was just exposed to HIV?

    PrEP is preventative. It is NOT for taking after you are exposed to HIV. Instead, PrEP is taken daily to prevent HIV before you are exposed.

    Another medicine regimen, PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), can be prescribed and works if you take it within 72 hours of exposure, so act fast. Get an appointment with one of our doctors to get PEP, or get to an ER immediately if you have been exposed and ask about PEP.  

3 simple steps to request your PrEP prescription today 

Step 1

Book a visit with a doctor to discuss PrEP.

During your first visit, your PlushCare doctor will review your medical history and health goals.

Step 2

Talk to your physician regarding PrEP medication.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer. Lab work is required, and they'll send an order to your preferred lab or deliver a lab kit to your home.  Your at-home testing kit will be mailed to you within 1-3 days. Follow-up testing is required every 90 days. Once your lab results are available, your doctor will review them and discuss all treatment options

Step 3

Pick up your PrEP medication, if prescribed.

Prescriptions are provided based on eligibility and safety. Our physicians will prescribe medications and monitor your kidney function while taking PrEP.

PrEP prescription pricing details

How pricing works

To get a new or refill on your PrEP prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.  

  1. JAMA Network - "Preexposure Prophylaxis to Prevent Acquisition of HIV: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement." Accessed on February 27, 2024 at  

  2. PubMed Central - "An observational study of preexposure prophylaxis uptake, sexual practices, and HIV incidence among men and transgender women who have sex with men." Accessed on February 27, 2024 at  

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - "Preexposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)." Accessed on February 27, 2024 at  

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Preventing HIV with PrEP" Accessed on June 17, 2024 at

  5. Preexposure Prophylaxis Accessed on November 23, 2022  

  6. Planned Parenthood PrEP and HIV Accessed on November 23, 2022  

PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.