PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an antiretroviral medication designed to prevent HIV infection. When taken correctly, whether with the pill or through injection, it's up to 99% effective.

If you’re wondering which method suits you best, here’s your guide to each PrEP option. 


If you choose the pill option for PrEP, it means taking usually one pill every day. 

There are two pills approved for PrEP:

  1. Emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada or generic): For individuals of any gender at risk of HIV exposure through sex or injected drug use.
  2. Emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy): For cisgender men who have sex with men and transgender women.

PrEP pills may be a good option for:

  • People who don’t have insurance. 
    • Our PrEP2Me services, like many provided by Central Outreach Wellness Center, are Free.
    • Whether you exclusively use our telePrEP services or you can visit our practice directly, we won’t charge you a single copay for protecting yourself against HIV. 
  • With PrEP pills, you can take them daily at home, so there's no need to schedule appointments for injections with a healthcare provider. Just remember, regular follow-up for HIV testing is still important to stay on top of your health

Here are a few things to consider before going on the PrEP pills:

  • For some individuals, remembering to take daily medications can be challenging, and since oral PrEP needs to be taken every day to achieve maximum effectiveness, it may not be the ideal choice.
  • If you struggle with swallowing pills or tend to miss doses, oral PrEP might not be the best fit for you.


In 2021, the FDA approved Apretude, the first injectable HIV pre-exposure prevention option. It helps prevent HIV transmission through sex or injection drugs. This injection is given every 2 months.

PrEP injections may be a good option for people who: 

  • Have problems taking oral PrEP as prescribed. 
  • Prefer getting a shot every 2 months instead of taking oral PrEP. 
  • Have serious kidney disease that prevents the use of oral PrEP medications.

Here are a few things to consider before going on the PrEP injection:

  • Cost: The injection may be more expensive than the pills. 
  • Needle Fear: If you have a fear of needles, injected PrEP may not be the best option for you. The medication is injected into the muscles of your buttocks by a healthcare professional every 2 months.
  • Currently, PrEP shots are not recommended for people who inject drugs.

For more info on the PrEP injection, here’s a packet from the CDC.

If you’re still curious about what PrEP method is best for you and your needs, please ask your clinician for more information.