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New California law may expand use of HIV prevention drugs, with caveats

November 20, 2019


Kellen Willhite was 24 when he learned he’d been exposed to HIV. What followed was, as he describes it, a second trauma: trying to obtain the drugs that could save him before it was too late.

In 2016, a day after Willhite and his then-boyfriend had engaged in unprotected sex, they visited the small offices of Golden Rule Services, a nonprofit community clinic about 7 miles south of the state Capitol.

“I had a gut feeling,” Willhite said. He wanted his boyfriend to be tested. The test result came back positive for HIV, and Willhite learned that he needed to start taking a medication known as post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP.

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