Advocates for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and services met virtually today for “HIV on the Hill.” Leaders from nearly one dozen community organizations met to share their vision for an end to HIV/AIDS in Minnesota, and what steps need to be taken to get there: destigmatizing HIV/AIDS, increasing access to prevention drugs PrEP and PEP, making sure everyone knows their HIV status and ensuring every single person has health care, and any barriers to staying healthy are knocked down, especially BIPOC communities within the LGBTQ community.
In response, Senator Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, released the following statement:
“The ability to end HIV/AIDS permanently is upon us at this very moment. The only thing standing between us and that future is the lack of will among policymakers to pass the laws, policies, and resources that increase access to preventive and treatment medications, spurred on by the crippling stigma around HIV/AIDS.
“This year, as in years past, I’ve introduced a package of legislation intended to move us towards the ultimate goal of a future without HIV/AIDS. My bills SF340, SF346, and SF349 decrease logistical barriers to PrEP and PEP, ensuring effective medications remain on our state drug formulary and reducing financial barriers to these medications, respectively. I applaud the work of the advocates who demand that we do everything we can so they can lead lives of dignity and health. It was my honor to be with them today. I call on my colleagues to support these important initiatives.”