Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention is underutilized by cisgender women at risk for HIV in the USA. Published research on PrEP initiation among cisgender women at risk for HIV focuses on identifying barriers and facilitators associated with intention to initiate, but few apply a behavioral theoretical lens to understand the relative importance of these diverse factors. This study provides a theoretically grounded view of the relative importance of factors associated with intention to initiate PrEP. We conducted an anonymous, cross-sectional survey of 1437 cisgender women seeking care at family planning and sexual health clinics to evaluate hypothesized barriers and facilitators of PrEP initiation. We categorized cisgender women with ≥ 3 behavioral risk-factors as “high-risk” for HIV acquisition; 26.9% (N = 387) met high-risk criterion. Among cisgender women in the high-risk sample, the majority were Black and single. Perceived risk of HIV acquisition was low and 13.7% reported intention to initiate PrEP. Positive attitudes toward PrEP, self-efficacy, perceived support from medical providers and social networks, and prior discussion about PrEP with medical providers were associated with intention to initiate PrEP; stigma was negatively associated. Background characteristics (other than age), risk factors for HIV acquisition, prior awareness of PrEP, and perceived risk of HIV were not associated with uptake intention. These findings support interventions that center on the role of providers in the provision of PrEP and on social networks in destigmatization of PrEP use.