AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) is proud to announce its 2022 state legislative policy agenda. Grounded in racial health equity, these legislative priorities are and will help advance the goals and priorities of the Getting to Zero Illinois (GTZ-IL) plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030.
We are extremely grateful for the collaboration of the community in crafting this year’s state legislative policy agenda. We had numerous people living with HIV, advocates, providers, case managers, community organizations and AFC staff that participated in the eight (8) listening sessions held in September and October 2021. The Policy & Advocacy team at AFC took those thoughtful comments and devised a word cloud that illustrates some of the pressing needs facing our communities.
While each of our policy priorities are impactful in their own way, we would like to highlight some specific priorities of note:
HB4264/SB3632, Getting to Zero Illinois (GTZ-IL) Omnibus: This legislation includes $15 million in critical investments to help advance the goals and strategies of the GTZ-IL plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 including funding for housing and wraparound supportive services, HIV stigma reduction programs and access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
HB4430/SB3209, Increasing Access to PrEP and PEP: This legislation would allow pharmacists to prescribe, dispense and administer HIV prevention drugs (PrEP & PEP) without a prescription from a provider.
In addition to the legislation above, AFC is proud to advocate for the following investments in the state’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget:
$2 million increase to the HIV Lump Sum that provides for HIV testing and treatment and increased access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
$15 million to the African American HIV/AIDS Response Fund to address the disproportionate impact HIV has on the Black community especially among Black gay, bisexual and same gender loving men, Black cisgender women and Black transgender women
$1 million in new state funding to address the rising rates of STIs (syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea) through testing, education and treatment
$40 million to improve access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by restoring the Illinois Navigator Program
Even though it is nearly two years into the pandemic, we remember that unity and advocacy are still as important as ever. We encourage you to get involved, stay engaged and speak up to your legislators by joining AFC’s Mobile Action Network. As a people-first organization, AFC will never stop providing our community with the necessary tools, language and platform to fight for the future we believe in!