A Public Act has been issued in Connecticut that would allow young people receive preventative medication for HIV infections without their parents' consent. The declaration Thursday sends it to the Secretary of the State for certification and then the Governor's desk to be signed into law.
Advocates say such legislation could help those seeking the drug but don't feel comfortable discussing their sexual activities with their parents. Some parents expressed concern that they were being cut out.
Current state law allows minors to be tested for HIV, and receive treatment if they test positive without parental consent. This bill would allow the preventative drug, referred to as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, to be prescribed. With the brand name Truvada, the medicine consists of a single daily pill. The Centers for Disease Control said PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in high-risk individuals by up to 92 percent, when taken consistently. Patients are urged to follow up with a health care provider every three months.
According to the federal agency, minors can access PrEP independently in 16 states, based on explicit language in state law and regulations. The age for access varies by jurisdiction.
Danbury Representative Bob Godfrey is on the Board of Directors for APEX, formerly AIDS Project Greater Danbury. He says more children are presenting with symptoms or the need for testing and education. Godfrey says more help and services should be provided so intervention and help can then be provided.
The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House and had just one vote against it in the Senate.