UNITED STATES. US judge makes access to AIDS drugs more difficult

After access to abortion, the health of Americans continues to take a hit. A federal judge from Texas, one of the most conservative states in the United States, Wednesday attacked “Obamacare”, the great medical insurance law of former President Barack Obama.

The law requires private insurers to reimburse certain preventive treatments and leaves it to the health authorities to define which ones. These included in 2020 the drugs known as PrEP, tablets which prevent the transmission of HIV and are recommended by the health authorities in particular for gay men.

But several people and two companies have taken legal action to challenge, among other things, the coverage of these drugs, in the name of their religious beliefs. They believe that this “makes them complicit in homosexual behavior”, according to the decision of Judge O’Connor, who agreed on Wednesday with the plaintiffs. One of them would incur a fine of 100 dollars a day in the event of non-compliance with the Obamacare law, continues the magistrate for whom the obligation to reimburse PrEP pills violates the federal law on religious freedoms.

A 99% effective treatment

It is likely that the Democratic administration of President Joe Biden will appeal its judgment, which has been strongly criticized by the leader of the House of Representatives. “This disturbing decision is openly homophobic,” said Democrat Nancy Pelosi in a statement, writing it in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling in June that shattered the right abortion in the country.

PrEP, for “pre-exposure prophylaxis”, is routinely recommended for men who have sex with men, heterosexuals who engage in risky behavior, and people who use needles to take drugs. While PrEP is 99% effective, only 23% of people who could benefit from it were using it in 2019.

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