SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Youth PrEP Bill into law on Wednesday.
The new law allows Illinois youth 12 years old and older to obtain preventative health care services for STDs or substance use disorder without getting parental permission, including pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP).
The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Lamont Robinson (D-Chicago) in the House and State Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago) in the Senate. and supported by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
“Young people don’t wait to have sex until they’re 18, and HIV doesn’t wait either. This legislation will help ensure young people under the age of 18 have easy access to an incredibly effective and safe HIV prevention tool,” said Jim Pickett, AFC’s Senior Director of Prevention Advocacy and Gay Men’s Health, in a statement on Wednesday.
This law would align Illinois law with existing federal guidance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who in 2012 approved PrEP for use by young people who do not have HIV to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV.
“While new HIV/AIDS transmissions are down 35% in Illinois over the last decade, black gay men are experiencing an increase in HIV cases, particularly among youth. They need easy access to the highly successful PrEP drug, and this will help them achieve that. Thank you to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago for its initiative on this issue, to Sen. Robert Peters for sponsoring it in the Senate and to Gov. Pritzker for his support,” said Robinson.
“There are a lot of young people who don’t feel safe going to their parents with issues like these, which puts them at risk. No kid should be afraid due to shame or cost to get their medical needs met,” said Peters.