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A man shows Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), an HIV preventative drug. Photo: Daniel Born/The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images

California will be the first state to sell HIV-prevention drugs over the counter after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law this week.

Why it matters: It's "a move that supporters say is an important step towards ending the AIDS epidemic," writes the New York Times.

  • There are nearly 40,000 new HIV infections across the country every year, and many people are at risk because they don't take the preventative drug PrEP.
  • PrEP is 99% effective in reducing the risk of getting HIV when taken daily, according to the CDC.
  • The law is set to go into effect in July.
“California will use our market power and our moral power to take on big drug companies and prevent them from keeping affordable generic drugs out of the hands of people who need them. Competition in the pharmaceutical industry helps lower prices for Californians who rely on life-saving treatments.”
— California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a press release

How it works: Pharmacists will receive special training in order to be able to administer 60-day supplies of PrEP, which is used in an emergency after exposure to the virus, per the Times.

Go deeper: CRISPR gene editing used to treat patient with cancer and HIV

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.

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