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It's about to become much easier to educate people in California about preventing HIV infections
September 27, 2016 :: 4:03 AM
It took him a month to get around to it, but California governor Jerry Brown has finally signed AB 2640, a bill intended to massively improve statewide education about PrEP and PEP as anti-HIV tools.
The bill, co-sponsored by the LA LGBT Center and APLA Health, was passed by the Assembly and Senate in late August. Similar to existing legislation in West Hollywood, it would ensure that high-risk HIV-negative people will receive information about PrEP, PEP, and other methods to prevent HIV infection following any test for the virus.
“We are extremely pleased that Governor Brown has signed this bill into law,” APLA Health Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Thompson said. “This is one of several proposals the governor has supported to increase information about and the availability of PrEP and PEP, and we thank him for his continued leadership on this issue. AB 2640 is a crucial step toward raising awareness about effective HIV prevention tools, reducing new infections, and ending the epidemic in California.”
It’s hoped that AB 2640 will particularly help to improve awareness of PrEP among black and Latino men, who have been repeatedly shown to be less likely to know about or use PrEP and PEP.
“With the stroke of his pen, Governor Brown has played a significant and groundbreaking role in helping to fight HIV in the state that ranks second in the nation in cumulative AIDS cases,” Los Angeles LGBT Center Medical Director Dr. Robert Bolan said. “Those most at risk of HIV infection deserve to know about all the options to stay negative, including PrEP and PEP. By signing AB 2640, Governor Brown is helping to promote options that have the potential to change the course of the epidemic in California and significantly reduce the HIV infection rate here.”
This is the latest success in what’s already been a strong year for pro-LGBT legislation in California, with bills passed to help fight HIV, improve trans bathroom access, protect LGBT students, and more.