March 30, 2023
A new ruling by a US federal judge in Texas strikes down a provision of the Affordable Care Act that required insurance coverage of many preventive services, including HIV testing and the prevention drugs use for Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and doubles down on the judge’s previous ruling in a separate case that PrEP provision violates some individuals’ religious freedom. The current ruling will not only affect HIV prevention services, but endangers access to contraception, vaccinations, routine health screenings and a wide range of prevention services.
“This ruling expands on last year’s shocking decision on PrEP and religious freedom and further undermines the right to health for an even larger group of Americans. It is the latest blow in a campaign to roll back bodily autonomy and human rights for a wide swathe of the population and will degrade the quality of life for all Americans by denying life-saving preventive care,” said Mitchell Warren, AVAC’s executive director.
“At a time when science has given us the tools to advance towards the end of the HIV epidemic and rational evidence-based public health policies and programs can implement those tools to save millions of lives around the world, one judge’s continued biased and discriminatory decisions endanger programs and lives far beyond northern Texas,” Warren added. “As advocates, activists and citizens, we at AVAC stand in solidarity with all those whom this decision affects. We firmly believe that the ruling must be called out as a dangerous infringement of the rights of individuals to determine their own healthcare needs with their healthcare providers and that every effort must be made to ensure that it does not stand.”