May 7, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

New CA Bill to End the Epidemics of HIV, Hepatitis C and Other STDs in LGBTQ+ Community

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) recently introduced a bill that would require state agencies to create and enforce a master plan to end new infections of HIV, hepatitis C and other STIs. 

All three diseases disproportionately impact gay and bisexual men, African American men and people ages 15-24, according to the Center for Disease Control. 

“We have the tools to end new infections of HIV and STDs. What we’re missing is political will. This bill, SB 859, would require California to make a plan to end this epidemic, and help state agencies access the necessary resources to do so,” Wiener said in a press release. “I’m proud to be introducing another piece of legislation fighting for the LGBT community, which, alongside other marginalized communities, is disproportionately impacted by HIV and other STDs. California must be a leader on these issues, and right now we’re at risk of falling behind. SB 859 would a big step towards finally ending the epidemic.”

Senate Bill 859 would require the Secretary of California Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the Chief of the Office of AIDS (OA), to create a comprehensive Master Plan to end new infections of HIV, HCV and other STDs. This bill mandates that the Secretary and Chief institute a Stakeholder Advisory Committee and work with relevant state agencies to set targets to end new infections and identify recommended programs, policies, strategies, and funding for achieving these targets. 

“California can no longer respond to its HIV, HCV, and STD epidemics as if they are distinct public health crises. These epidemics stem from the same root causes: lack of access to health care and prevention services, stigma and institutional bias, and an insufficient, fragmented response from our public health system,” AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner said. “We are thankful to Senator Wiener for his leadership in calling for a statewide masterplan to end the epidemics and look forward to working together toward a future of health justice for all Californians.”

From 2013-2017, new HIV diagnoses decreased 2% in the African American community and increased by 4% in the Latinx community, while declining nearly 13% among white people. And, comparatively, in New York, since the implementation of a master plan to end new HIV infections in 2014, diagnoses are down 40%. California’s preventative work is falling dramatically behind other states, and it is time to take a more thorough approach to ending these epidemics.

“STD rates in California have reached record highs and HIV and hepatitis C continue to impact the state’s most vulnerable and underserved communities,” APLA Health CEO Craig E. Thompson said. “We applaud Senator Wiener for leading this bold effort to bring together state agencies and community members to develop an aggressive strategy to end these epidemics. Now we need the full support of the Governor and the Legislature. The longer they wait, the more it will cost California to treat new infections that could – and should – have been prevented in the first place.”

Related Posts

Patrick O’Connell, AIDS Activist, Dead At 67

May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

Patrick O’Connell, a venerable AIDS activist and creator of the iconic red ribbon creating awareness about the disease, has died...

WeHo Celebrating ‘Senior Month’

May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

For more than two decades, the City of West Hollywood has organized an annual series of activities to engage its...

Los Angeles Becomes First No-Kill City For Animals – E.P.I.C Pride Show, May 5th, 2021

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – Los Angeles Becomes First No-Kill...

Byron Lane Helping Young Men Understand Testicular Cancer With “Nuts & Bolts”

May 2, 2021

May 2, 2021

Hollywood author playwright, screenwriter and testicular cancer survivor Byron Lane wants to educate young men about testicular cancer.  Testicular cancer...

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony For “OUT on Robertson”

May 2, 2021

May 2, 2021

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Saturday May 1st to commemorate the newest OUT on Robertson program in West...

Thinking About Moving? Think About Your Pets First

May 1, 2021

May 1, 2021

Moving to a new home is no easy task, especially if you have pets. In general, they aren’t too fond...

Ellen DeGeneres Under Fire For Admitting To Driving Under The Influence

April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021

Ellen DeGeneres is under fire for admitting to driving wife Portia DeRossi to the hospital while under the influence.  While...

Lil Nas X Satan Shoe Controversy – E.P.I.C Pride Show, April 28th, 2021

April 27, 2021

April 27, 2021

E.P.I.C Pride, Highlighting the latest LGBTQ news in Entertainment, Politics, International affairs, and Culture. – Lil Nas X Satan Shoe...

Caitlyn Jenner Running For Governor Of California

April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021

Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic gold medalist and transgender activist, announced that she will be running for California Governor. 71-year-old Jenner made...

WeHo Standing Up Against Sexual Violence On ‘Denim Day’

April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021

The City of West Hollywood encourages everyone to wear jeans on Denim Day, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, which is an...

Last Week For Sugar Rush In L.A.

April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021

This is the last week to visit Sugar Rush, an outdoor “candytropolis” that looks like a gay wonderland. From the...

Disarm Hate Documentary Presented By onePULSE Foundation

April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021

The onePULSE Foundation announced its free virtual film screening of the director’s cut of the documentary, Disarm Hate, which takes...

The LGBT Center Long Beach’s Response To George Floyd Trial

April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach has released a statement in response to the verdict following the George Floyd trial.  On...

WeHo Introduces “OUT on Robertson”

April 23, 2021

April 23, 2021

The City of West Hollywood is responding in a variety of creative ways to community needs as the region navigates...

Dogdrop A Queer Owned Local Doggy Daycare

April 18, 2021

April 18, 2021

Dogdrop a local queer owned doggy daycare prioritizes pet wellness.  Shaina and Greer are two queer women who founded Dogdrop...