Week ending: June 21, 2019
By: Sable K. Nelson
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris Introduces Bill to Dramatically Expand Access to PrEP
On Thursday, June 20, 2019, “U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) introduced the PrEP Access and Coverage Act, legislation to dramatically expand Americans’ access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), medication that when taken daily reduces the risk of HIV infection by up to 92%.”
The PrEP Access and Coverage Act would:
- Require all public and private health insurance plans to cover the drug—as well as all required tests and follow-up visits—without a copay, just as the Affordable Care Act requires insurance to cover contraception and other preventive services.
- Fund a grant program to assist states, territories, and tribal communities in facilitating access to PrEP for people who lack insurance and reducing disparities in access to PrEP. The bill authorizes grants to cover the cost of the drug, as well as all associated tests and follow-up visits. The grants will also support outreach to physicians and other providers designed to increase understanding of PrEP and the recommended clinical practices for providing care.
- Prohibit companies selling life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance from denying coverage to customers who take PrEP or charging them higher premiums.
- Fund a public education campaign to reduce disparities in access to and use of PrEP by educating the public—particularly high-need communities in which PrEP is underutilized—about the safety and efficacy of the drug and to combat stigma associated with using PrEP.
For more information, READ.
Good Health Goes Beyond Having A Doctor And Insurance, Says AMA’s Equity Chief
Dr. Aletha Maybank was recently named the first chief health equity officer for the American Medical Association. In an interview, the pediatrician spoke about how racism’s impact on health affects everyone and what practices could help doctors end disparities. For more information, READ.
REGISTER TO ATTEND: July Meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS
The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA or the Council) will hold its 64th full Council meeting in Jackson, Mississippi. Members will hear a panel presentation regarding Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America and will discuss possible recommendations regarding programs, policies, and research to promote effective, prevention, treatment and cure of HIV disease and AIDS. The meeting will be open to the public; a public comment session will be held during the meeting.
Pre-registration is encouraged for members of the public who wish to attend the meeting and who wish to participate in the public comment session. Individuals who wish to attend the meeting and/or send in their public comment via email should send an email to Caroline Talev,MPA, at Caroline.Talev@hhs.gov. Pre-Registration must be complete by Monday, July 1, 2019.
DATES: The Council meeting is scheduled to convene on Monday, July 8 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET and Tuesday, July 9 from 9:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET (times are tentative and subject to change). The meeting agenda will be posted on the PACHA webpage. Public attendance is limited to
available space. For more information, READ.
What You Can Do
TAKE ACTION: It is very important that our elected officials hear from us to protect federal funding for HIV prevention and care. Speak truth to power by sharing your personal stories with your elected officials. It is vitally important to meet with your federal elected officials when they are at home. If we don’t support and advocate for HIV funding and programs, who will? Our movement cannot afford to stand on the sidelines. Your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives need to hear from you.
- Find your U.S. Senators: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- Find your U.S. Representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
What NMAC is Doing About It
- NMAC remains vigilant in its advocacy to protect FY20 government funding and the existence of the social safety net.
- NMAC is working in coalition to defend the right of people living with HIV to serve in the US military.