California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Monday (October 8) that allows people to obtain HIV-prevention drugs available without a prescription.
Pharmacists will now be able to dispense both PrEP, or preexposure prophylaxis, and PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily, while PEP is for emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV.
Newsom released a statement, which read, "Recent breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of HIV can save lives. All Californians deserve access to PrEP and PEP, two treatments that have transformed our fight against HIV and AIDS. I applaud the Legislature for taking action to expand access to these treatments and getting us closer to ending HIV and AIDS for good."