HIV Prevention Bill Introduced in Congress

by Curtis Clinch

This summer, Senator Tina Smith (MN) and Representative Adam Schiff (CA) introduced the PrEP Access and Coverage Act in Congress. This bill aims to help end HIV in the country by increasing access to the HIV prevention medication known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). If passed the bill would:

  • Make PrEP free for anyone with insurance.

  • Prohibit insurance premium increases and denial of life or disability insurance based on PrEP usage.

  • Direct the Department of Health and Human Services to increase public education campaigns on HIV prevention.

  • Offer grants to local groups and organizations who work with those who are uninsured and underserved communities such as rural communities, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, Spanish speaking communities and more.

"It is especially critical to address decades-long inequities that disproportionately impact Black and Latine LGBTQ+ communities by guaranteeing equitable insurance coverage for preventive services, mandated in the same manner as life-saving treatment. We believe the PrEP Access and Coverage Act is a clear step in the right direction towards increasing access and placing a permanent halt to the HIV epidemic. The Human Rights Campaign thanks Senator Tina Smith and Representative Adam Schiff for their continued leadership on this issue

HRC and Gilead Sciences recently announced a $5 million, 3-year expansion to their efforts to end HIV by educating the public on PrEP, encouraging people across the country to take control of their sexual health, and mobilizing behind policies such as the PrEP Access and Coverage Act.

The bill currently has 65 sponsors across Congress.

Quick Facts on HIV Prevention

  • When PrEP is used as prescribed, it’s 99% effective in preventing HIV during sex.
  • PrEP comes in pill form or long-term injectable.
  • PrEP does not seem to have any effects on hormone levels for trans people.
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, can be used within 72 hours if you think you have potentially been exposed to HIV. It is only for emergency situations.

See Related Resources

Embrace Your Sexuality

We're building a generation free of HIV and stigma. Embrace sex positivity with My Body, My Health campaign. Are you in?