PrEP: The 411

There’s a lot of talk about PrEP these days and a diversity of opinions on the topic.

PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, a term meaning to prevent or control the spread of infection or disease.

PREPpillPrEP is an HIV prevention option that involves taking one pill a day to help you from getting HIV if exposed to the virus. In some studies, PrEP reduced HIV infection rates by 92 percent, but it must be taken daily and is even more effective when combined with condoms and other prevention tools.

Here are some basic FAQ and other information to help you determine if PrEP might be right for you.

  • What are some of the common side effects?
    • 1 in 10 users have nausea
    • 1 in 100 users experience bone mineral density
    • 1 in 200 users experience kidney problems
Curious about how PrEP works in your body to prevent HIV infection in case of exposure?
Wondering about the side effects? This video, provided by Youreka Science, has answers to many of your questions. 🔎 Watch the video.

Why should you take Truvda as PrEP? Is it for everyone?
Dr. Lindsey Doe discusses Truvada as PrEP, the reasons why people should take it and, conversely, why it’s not for everyone! What are some of the reasons this is stigmatized? Learn more by watching below. 🔎 Watch the video.

Always use a condom?
I don’t really have sex very often, and I always make sure a condom is used when I do, should I still take Truvada as PrEP? 🔎 Watch the video.

Each insurance plan will be different. If you have private insurance, consult with your physician on price options.

With Covered California: Between $15–$700 per month depending on which level you choose with co pays and deductibles.

Bronze Plan:
$50/brand copay after $5,000 deductible for both medical and drugs where you pay 40% of health expenses. WARNING: Unaffordable; do not enroll in this tier if you plan on starting PrEP.

Silver Plan:
$50/brand copay after $250 brand drug deductible where you pay 30 percent of health expenses.

Gold Plan:
$50/brand copay, no deductible.

Platinum Plan:
$50/brand copay after $250 brand drug deductible where you pay 30% of health expenses.

*Cost information from

Gilead’s Medication Assistance Program (MAP)
If you do not have health insurance, then apply for this program to see if you are financially eligible to get Truvada for PrEP for free. You must not have health insurance and income verification is required. Your provider needs to submit an application form. If approved, your medication will be dispensed to your provider directly. For more info, call 1-855-330-5479 or visit

Gilead’s Co-Payment Assistance Program (CAP)
If you have health insurance, save up to $200 per month on your Truvada copayments. There is no financial income restriction for eligibility. Your provider or pharmacy can submit the application form. Once approved, you will be given a card and medication will be dispensed to your preferred pharmacy. For more info, call 1-877-505-6986 or visit

Both Gilead’s MAP and CAP use same application form. 🔎 Down the application here.

If you are have Medicaid, Medicare or coverage for prescription drugs under any other public program or other third party payer, you are not eligible for Gilead’s MAP and CAP.

Being your own health advocate is important and empowering. If you are finding it difficult to talk to your doctor about Truvada as PrEP, here are some tips!

Educate yourself.
Walk into your appointment educated about the treatment. Have some general knowledge, know what tests you’ll need, and explain to them why you feel it’s important for you to undergo treatment.

Bring literature.
Bring literature with you. Print the downloadable documents on the PrEP Info page to use as a guide for your discussion with your doctor.

Ask for a specialist.
If your primary doctor is unsure about prescribing Truvada, ask to have an HIV/AIDS specialist collaborate on your treatment. These specialists have used Truvada for a long time and can provide helpful insight.

Listen to your physician.
Listen to your doctor’s advice. This treatment is not meant for everybody, if your doctor has significant reasons not to prescribe Truvada as PrEP, listen to their advice.

Cares Community Health
Phone: (916) 443-3299
Address: 1500 21st St., Sacramento, CA 95811


Native American Health Center
Phone: (916) 341-0575
Address: 2020 J St., Sacramento, CA 95811

Kaiser Permanente
   Multiple locations (with specific providers)
Considered a Tier 2 medication as of April 2015

For a comprehensive list of providers throughout the California who prescribe PrEP, 🔎 click here.