Injectable Treatment for HIV Pre-Exposure Prevention

Nov. 15, 2022

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) can reduce an individuals chance of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%. As of 2020, more than 25% of individuals who are at risk of HIV are taking PrEP. PrEP requires strict adherence, making the daily PrEP pill difficult for some individuals to consistently take. In 2021, the FDA approved Apretude (cabotegravir extended-release injectable suspension), an injectable treatment for PrEP, for use in at-risk adults and adolescents weighing at least 35 kilograms (77 pounds). Apretude is given first as two initiation injections administered one month apart, and then every two months thereafter. 

Most insurance plans and state Medicaid programs cover PrEP. Under the Affordable Care Act, PrEP must be free under almost all health insurance plans. That means individuals cannot be charged for their PrEP medication or clinic visits and lab tests to maintain their prescription.

If individuals you serve don’t have insurance or Medicaid coverage, there are other programs that provide PrEP for free or at a reduced cost:

  • Ready, Set, PrEP -  makes PrEP medication available at no cost to those who qualify.
  • Co-pay assistance programs -  help lower the costs of PrEP medications. Income is not a factor in eligibility.
  • ViiVConnect- offers a program to help pay for PrEP shots.
  • Some states have PrEP assistance programs 
    •  Some programs cover PrEP medication, while others cover clinical visits and lab tests. Some programs cover both.