ROCKFORD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed an executive order restoring public health funding for HIV care.
From the State Journal-Register of Springfield:
He signed an executive order to expand access to the medicine known as PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, which can reduce the chances of getting HIV. PrEP funding was a casualty of the state budget impasse.
The order also increases funding for HIV testing, the African American HIV/AIDS Response Act and other public health initiatives.
“That’s what we’re here to do — to eradicate the HIV epidemic. Now is not the time to back down from this fight,” Pritzker told a crowd of about 30 gathered at the Winnebago County Health Department offices on North Court Street. “Now is the time to double down. The state needs to be a good partner in this fight. As a state we can and will do better.”
He said about 40,000 Illinois residents are living with HIV and at least 1,300 were diagnosed with the virus last year. He said about 50 percent living with HIV are black and 18 percent are Latino.