HealthDay News — California is the first state to allow pharmacists to dispense HIV prevention pills to patients without a doctor’s prescription.

The legislation, signed into law Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, will greatly reduce the spread of HIV, according to supporters of the law, the Associated Press reported.

HIV prevention medications include both preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). Advocates say PEP significantly reduces the risk for HIV infection, but only if it is started within 72 hours of exposure to the virus, the AP reported.

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“To end new HIV infections, we must dramatically expand access to PrEP and PEP, yet far too many Californians who need these drugs struggle to access them,” bill coauthor and Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who has publicly disclosed that he takes PrEP as an HIV prevention strategy, told the AP.

AP News Article