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

November 20, 2019

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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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