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GOV SIGNS PrEP LEGISLATION

Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and APLA Health.

Landmark legislation to boost awareness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV infection was signed into law last month by California Gov. Jerry Brown, becoming the first statewide legislation of its kind.

Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and APLA Health and introduced by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson), AB 2640 will ensure high-risk HIV-negative individuals receive information about methods that reduce the risk of contracting HIV, including PrEP and PEP, during HIV post-test counseling.

“We are extremely pleased that Governor Brown has signed this bill into law,” APLA Health Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Thompson said. “This is one of several proposals the governor has supported to increase information about and the availability of PrEP and PEP, and we thank him for his continued leadership on this issue. AB 2640 is a crucial step toward raising awareness about effective HIV prevention tools, reducing new infections, and ending the epidemic in California.”

PrEP is an HIV prevention strategy in which HIV-negative individuals take a daily medication to reduce their risk of becoming infected. PrEP has been shown to be up to 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission. PEP involves taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible after a potential exposure to reduce the risk of becoming HIV-positive. According to a 2015 survey of gay and bisexual men by the California HIV/AIDS Research Program, only 1 in 10 respondents had ever used PrEP and nearly 85% had never talked to their doctor about PrEP.

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