Image credit: NIAID
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) have been life-changing for members of the community, and if a bill in the California Senate gets passed, it could change the lives of even more people.
According to a report by Capitol Public Radio, a bill authored by San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener and co-authored by San Diego Assemblyman Todd Gloria would make limited amounts of PrEP and PEP available over the counter.
PrEP is a treatment system that prevents HIV infection through a pill taken once a day. PEP, on the other hand, is a course of HIV medications taken within 72 hours after possible exposure. Both PrEP and PEP require prescriptions and sometimes even approval from insurance companies before doctors can even write the prescriptions. If the bill is passed, patients no longer need those requirements.
If the bill becomes law in California, patients will only need to be tested for HIV a week before they plan on purchasing PrEP. Pharmacists are required to inform them of the possible side effects, as well as to inform the patient’s primary care provider. Patients can also get a 30-day supply of the treatment.
The bill is yet another step in making PrEP and PEP available to the people who need them most. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention partnered with pharmaceutical company Gilead to make 2.4 million bottles of Truvada available to them over the next 11 years. Teva Pharmaceutical is also set to release a generic version of Truvada in 2020. Just two months ago, the United States Prevention Services Task Force (USPSTF) gave PrEP a Grade A recommendation, meaning private insurers are now required by law to pay for PrEP.
Adam4Adam blog readers, especially the ones living in California, how do you feel about this bill? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments below!