When each two-year state legislative session begins, Fenway Health puts out a list of our priorities. These are state bills that align with our mission to serve the LGBTQIA+ community, those living with HIV/AIDS, and those who are vulnerable to health care access inequities.
Formal sessions for our current state legislators ended July 31st. Advocates pushed into the eleventh hour, fighting for important legislation that could help young people, people experiencing homelessness, people who use drugs, and the LGBTQIA+ community.
We are thrilled to report that one of our priority bills, PrEP Access for Young Adults (An Act Relative to HIV Prevention Access for Young Adults) passed as part of the FY23 budget and is effective immediately! This bill will expand access to PrEP for young people who need it—for more on this bill’s implementation, visit GLAD’s fact sheet HERE.
Many thanks to all of our allies who contributed to this victory, especially Representative Jack Lewis and Senator Julian Cyr!
For more detailed information on the rest of our priorities from this past session, as well as testimony and material Fenway contributed, check out this link:
We applaud the hard work of all our allies in the state house, our partners in coalition, and all of the advocates who told their stories and brought necessary conversations to their communities. This includes the cohorts of our Getting To Zero Activist Academy. The Activist Academy program aims to develop community stakeholders and activists in educating community members in issues related to HIV prevention and access to care for those living with HIV/AIDS. The cohort theme for 2023 will be “Addressing Stigma.” Activist Academy applications are now open!
The work continues as we refocus our energy on the beginning of a new session in January and the possibility of passing more of our community’s priorities including:
- Comprehensive and Inclusive Sex Education
- Supervised Consumption Sites
- Caring for Long Term Survivors
- Establishing and strengthening protections for people experiencing homelessness and people who are incarcerated
- Supporting community-based alternatives to law enforcement
You can join us in this work right now!