Answers to all your questions about PrEP lab testing, payment options, and more.
How home testing works
Tell us about yourself.
Answer a few health questions. If you are eligible for PrEP, our partner lab will mail you a HIV/STI testing kit in a discreet package.
Self-test at home.
Collect your samples as instructed and mail them back to the lab for screening, using the box and prepaid label included in the kit.
Our doctors review.
Based on your lab results, one of our medical providers will decide whether PrEP is the right choice for you.
What will I be tested for?
Getting your first PrEP prescription, and getting refills every three months, requires lab testing. To ensure you’re eligible for PrEP, you will be tested for: HIV: PrEP is only beneficial for those who are currently not living with HIV. Kidney Function: Because medications like Truvada can sometimes add strain to your kidneys, we test blood creatinine levels to ensure your kidneys are staying healthy. Hepatitis B: Truvada can also interact with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), so we’ll want to provide some additional medical oversight to ensure you don’t have any negative interactions. Pregnancy: Though PrEP is safe to use during pregnancy, we always refer pregnant women to their OB/GYN. STIs: We screen for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, curable infections that benefit from early treatment.
PrEP is expensive, but we’re here to help make it affordable. With insurance coverage PrEP is often covered by insurance, but it’s good to make sure. Ask your insurance company whether Truvada® for HIV prevention is covered under your plan, and what your copay will be for each month’s prescription. If you have a copay, we can help you get that covered. Without insurance coverage We work with three main payment assistance programs that subsidize some of the cost of Truvada – although not of lab testing. Gilead Co-Pay CardGilead's Advancing AccessPatient Advocate Foundation
We believe that control over our own sexual health is a fundamental right. So we aim to make accessing PrEP as easy and affordable as it is to get other preventative medicine. Your body. Your choice. It’s that simple.
PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) is for people who are not living with HIV and would like to remain HIV-negative and is a combination of safe sex practices and a daily medication. Currently, the only FDA approved medication for PrEP is Truvada®. It was approved for HIV prevention in 2012 and contains two medications: tenofovir and emtricitabine. Pre = before Exposure = coming into contact with HIV Prophylaxis = treatment to prevent an infection from happening Think of it like this: Truvada® for PrEP is like birth control. You take a pill every day, and if you are exposed to HIV, there is a 99% chance that you stay negative for HIV! Just like women who take birth control pills every day and have sex without getting pregnant.
PrEP is expensive, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should have to pay for all of it. Often PrEP is covered by insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. Payment assistance programs are available to help with co-pays or high deductibles. Depending on your insurance coverage, we recommend that you take some time to apply to any payment assistance program(s) you qualify for. Unfortunately, these programs do not cover the cost of lab work and Nurx cannot cover the cost of labs for you. You’ll be responsible for the full cost of the labs to get started on PrEP. The home testing kits are $25 plus any insurance copays or deductibles, or (if you don't have insurance) a flat rate of $129 for the Basic kit and $199 for the Comprehensive. If you are visiting a physical lab location, always check on the cost at the lab before you complete any tests.
Many new PrEP users report little to no side effects, but symptoms such as headache, abdominal pain, and weight loss can happen. These side effects typically don’t last long and often go away entirely within the first month. If you’re experiencing prolonged side effects, please contact us.
If you miss a dose or skip a day, it’s ok! Take your pill as soon as you remember and continue with your daily schedule. Do not double dose, as you may feel nauseous or sick. Missing one dose won’t greatly affect your level of protection against HIV. However, if you are missing multiple days or are having trouble with taking a pill daily, let us know.
Nurx is an easy, discreet, and judgement free way to access PrEP. This entire process can take as few as 7 days, depending on how quickly you get your lab work completed. How this works:
Request PrEP through our app or website
Answer a few basic questions about your health and sexual activity
Our PrEP navigators will ensure PrEP is as affordable as possible for you
Our Medical team will review your request and order your labs if PrEP looks like a healthy option for you
Once you complete the necessary lab work (which you can do at home—we'll send you the kit), our medical team will review your results. If they determine that PrEP is right for you, your medication will be mailed to you in a discreet package.
If PrEP is like birth control, then PEP is like emergency contraception. PEP (Post-exposure Prophylaxis) is a medication regimen someone who is currently HIV-negative can take to reduce their risk of becoming infected after they have been exposed to HIV. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure and continued for 28 days. If you feel you may need PEP, please visit your local emergency room or urgent care. Post = after Exposure = coming into contact with HIV Prophylaxis = treatment to prevent an infection from happening
Truvada® for PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV when taken as prescribed. Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV through sexual activity by up to 99% and by more than 70% among people who inject drugs. For more information on specific research, please click here.
Your PrEP order will be delivered via FedEx 2-Day Priority Shipping, with signature required. Often orders are delivered during business hours, so please let our customer care team know if you need to waive the signature requirement or have your order shipped to a different address. The package arrives in a discreet, standard white envelope and has no logos or mentions of Nurx.
Truvada® for PrEP works by blocking an enzyme called HIV reverse transcriptase. By blocking this enzyme, it prevents HIV from making more copies of itself in the body. You will remain HIV negative if the virus can’t make enough copies of itself in your system.
You take Truvada® for PrEP as long as you are at risk for contracting HIV. For some people this can mean for the duration of a relationship, and for others this can mean for a lifetime. PrEP is something that you can start and stop at any time without long-term side effects. PrEP should be continued for 30 days after the last potential exposure to HIV. Each time you start Truvada® you will need to take it for 7 to 21 days before it reaches maximum effectiveness. If you are considering stopping PrEP, please contact our medical team and we’ll help advise you so you can stop in the healthiest and most efficient way.
Before you can start Truvada® for PrEP, you will need to complete lab work. After you get started on PrEP, you will only need to get your labs done every 3 months. We know getting labs done isn’t the most enjoyable process, but it’s important to know your status and it will help keep you and your partner(s) healthy. We even offer lab work options that can be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You will be tested for:
Kidney function (creatinine)
Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis (optional, but we highly recommend this)
When taken daily, PrEP is safe and highly effective in preventing HIV. PrEP reaches maximum effectiveness for receptive anal sex (bottoming) after about 7 days. For all other activities, including insertive anal sex (being the top) and vaginal sex, PrEP reaches maximum effectiveness after about 21 days.
Based on FDA requirements, PrEP users should be at least 77 pounds. Age limits are only considered when state-specific laws require it. If you are a minor and are interested in PrEP, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We are doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and physician assistants who are passionate about providing patient care. The Nurx medical team believes that everyone deserves access to personalized, non-judgmental healthcare, and that open and honest communication is key.
Teresa TrujilloRegistered Nurse
We know that no one has time to wait in line at the pharmacy. We know that seeing a doctor often isn't easy — on your schedule, wallet, or peace of mind. Our service makes it easy for anyone, regardless of circumstance, to get medication quickly, discreetly, and affordably. So we can all stay safe and in control of our own health, always.