Bill Title: Public Health – Treatment for the Prevention of HIV – Consent by Minors
Bill Number(s): SB 251 and HB 1183
Bill Sponsor(s): Senator Clarence Lam (D-12, Baltimore and Howard Counties) and Delegate Terri Hill (D-12, Baltimore and Howard Counties)
Legislative history: Returned passed
What will this bill do?
This bill would allow health care practitioners to prescribe live-saving HIV treatments in a confidential, non-stigmatizing manner with or without parental consent.
Why is this bill needed?
Despite enormous progress on treatment of HIV, Maryland’s infection rates and risk of incidence remains one of the highest in the country. Public health experts share that specific communities are bearing the brunt of these risks: communities of color, LGBTQ people, and youth in our state.
HIV diagnoses among Marylanders under the age of 25 have grown every year for the past 20 decades. For youth in particular, half of all HIV infections go undiagnosed, dramatically increasing the risk of infecting others. All this despite the advent of treatments that can prevent transmission of HIV and allow those living with HIV to live full, healthy lives.
Not only is this policy supported by practitioners and public health experts, it has had an impact in several other state already. Seventeen states have already made this change.