California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law on Monday authorizing patients to buy non-prescription anti-HIV drugs.
Proponents of Senate Bill 159 say California is the first state to allow pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and non-prescription post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
Rick Zbur, executive director of Egality California, said Senate Bill 159 "is a significant step forward in removing an obstacle" and helps reduce drug-related stigma, especially in rural areas and among minorities.
According to the California Health Benefits Review Program, nearly 30,000 people in California use PrEP and 6,000 PEP.
The association was worried about "long-term use without medical supervision," he said.
The law also prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before purchasing insurance to obtain drugs, eliminating another barrier.