Ask Kim: What is injectable PrEP?

Dear Kim, 

I recently heard that there’s a new type of PrEP that is injected every two months. I take pills for PrEP, but this sounds so convenient, because there’s so much less to remember. But I’m worried about taking something so new – is it safe? How does it work? I’d love to hear what you have to say. 



Dear PrEPared, 

It’s great that you are trying to learn as much as you can before trying a new medical treatment! Here’s the lowdown on injectible PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). 

On December 20, 2021, the FDA approved a drug called Apretude, which is an injectable PrEP medication. Apretude has gone through the same rigorous safety and efficacy testing as any other drug approved by the FDA, including PrEP in the form of pills (Truvada and Descovy). 

The main draw of Apretude is that it only needs to be used once every two months (after two initial injections one month apart). This makes it much more convenient for folks who for a variety of reasons may have trouble adhering to a daily pill.  

In clinical trials, it was 69% more effective than Truvada daily PrEP pills in reducing HIV transmission among cisgender men and transgender women, and 90% more effective among cisgender women (FDA). 

Certain side effects were more common in people taking the Apretude injection compared with Truvada daily pills, such as reactions at the injection site, headache, and fever (FDA). 

Having more options for PrEP is a great step for preventing more HIV infections than ever before! It’s up to you, with the support of your healthcare provider, to choose what is right for you. 

Be well, be yourself! 

Kim Adamski 
HIV Prevention Specialist 
Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective 

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