Californians Can Buy HIV-Prevention Drugs Without Prescription, Gov. Newsom

by Stephen Riddle
Californians Can Buy HIV-Prevention Drugs Without Prescription, Gov. Newsom

Now, people will not need a doctor’s prescription to buy HIV-prevention medicines in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has passed a new bill on Monday, which permits druggists to provide the medication without a prescription. From now, preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) will be available as over-the-counter medicines in the state. The move follows a previous law of California. A 2015 bill of the country has enabled women to see a pharmacist and receive a birth control prescription. As per advocates of Senate Bill 159, it is the first-ever state to legalize both medicines without prescriptions. They say the country is already viewed as a pioneer in AIDS elimination and prohibition. So the latest legislation into law will significantly reduce the spread of infection.

As the name suggests, PrEP is a daily pill for the people who are at a very high risk of HIV. Whereas PEP is a medication that people consume to stop the virus from taking roots. PEP plays a crucial role in avoiding the disease spread by sex. It lessens the risk of infection if consumed within three days of exposure to the virus. Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, said it is not possible for everyone to see a doctor in that period. Thus the facility to go to a chemist to take advantage of the drug contributes to eliminating roadblocks.

According to the CDC, daily consumption of PrEP can lessen the risk of receiving HIV through sexual intercourse by around 99%. The health agency says, PEP, meanwhile, is for cases of urgency, which includes probable exposure to HIV. Reports from the California Health Benefits Review Program reveal around 30,000 people across the state use PrEP. Even more, nearly 6,000 Californians use PEP medication. Above all, the latest rule hinders insurance companies from forcing patients to get advance permission before availing benefits for medicine. Besides, a statement from the governor notes, all Californians have the right to gain HIV -prevention medications that have altered their fight against AIDS and HIV.

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