A recent NBC News article discussed a new bill that will make HIV prevention medication easier to get in California. Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation last week that will allow patients to receive pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) without a prescription for AIDS prevention. The bill was co-authored by Democrat Senator Scott Wiener, who has gone on record as saying he takes the drug as an HIV-prevention strategy.
PrEP is a pill HIV-negative people can take once a day, while PEP is taken to prevent the virus from taking hold. The latter is said to significantly reduce the risk of infection if started within 72 hours of exposure to the virus. Supporters believe the law will improve access and deter stigma associated with the drugs. According to the California Health Benefits Review Program, roughly 30,000 California residents use PrEP, and 6,000 use PEP.