How do I access PrEP when I go to college?

by | Aug 15, 2021 | PrEP 101, Talking to Your Doctor

School is about to be back in session, and while some people are counting down the days, others have their hesitations. Whether you’re already on PrEP, or thinking about starting, this transitional time can raise some questions for you.

If you’re already on PrEP, you’re probably wondering how to switch pharmacies and if you need to find a new healthcare provider. If you’re considering taking PrEP, then thinking about getting started on top of this new life change is probably pretty daunting. No matter where you are in your journey, we’re here to help.

I’m looking to start PrEP when I go to school. What do I do?


There are a couple of routes you can take if you’re looking to get started with taking PrEP. First, many universities are now offering PrEP at their school’s health center. While not all schools are prescribing the medicine that prevents HIV by up to 99%, it doesn’t hurt to give your school’s health center a call and ask. If they don’t, they might be able to give you a nudge in the right direction. 

If you’re looking to go through a doctor’s office to get your prescription, you can call your nearest hospital system to see if they have a PrEP patient navigator to get you started. If they do not, you can schedule an appointment with a primary care physician (PCP) at that medical office, and they can help you get the ball rolling. After all, it doesn’t hurt to have a PCP nearby if you need other medical assistance over the next few years.

No matter which path you’re on, if you’ve been on this road for a while or just getting into the driver’s seat, there are options for you. If you have any questions about this next big chapter and getting the care you need, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our fabulous PrEP coordinators.

I’m already taking PrEP. How do I get my prescription?

If you’re already taking PrEP, you have a couple of options on how to get your prescription. Many pharmacies have the option to mail your prescription. With this route, you can go into your pharmacy’s app or give them a call to make this change. Then, within a few days, you’ll have your medicine right in your mailbox.

Get PrEP for FREE (or really cheap)

While this is convenient, not all insurances cover mail orders. If yours doesn’t, you can call or visit the closest pharmacy to your new school and request an Rx transfer. All you need to do is tell the pharmacist the names, dosages, and Rx numbers of the medications you want to transfer. From there, they’ll reach out to your old pharmacy and take care of the rest for you.

Do I need to switch doctors?

This is always a personal preference. If you love your doctor, you might not want to switch, and that is A-OK. Some doctors have a telehealth option if you want to keep in touch while you’re away, but that can get difficult when it’s time to run tests. If you’re close enough to make the trip home for those visits, then you know what they say; if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

While telehealth and occasional trips home may work for some people, others prefer to have a doctor close by that can be there for them. Your doctor might have someone they recommend in your new location that can be a good fit for you.

No matter what you decide, be sure to talk with your doctor to ensure you’re getting the care you need while you’re away at school. They can help you come up with a game plan to make sure you’re happy, healthy, and being taken care of. PrEP navigators can also refer you to a clinic that is most convenient to you, and the good news is you can still receive PrEP navigation services wherever you go for your care!

Ask for help connecting to a doctor for PrEP.

Fiona Allan, University Hospitals
Call 216.286.7737
AKeem Rollins, MetroHealth
Call or Text 216.714.2223

Email AKeem at Metro for PrEP

Email Fiona at UH for PrEP