SIMMONS HB 4430 rCHICAGO – To make it easier for people to access HIV preventative care, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) championed a recently signed law to allow pharmacists to provide HIV tests and preventative medications to help reduce new HIV infections.

Simmons’ law will allow pharmacists to dispense and administer drugs, order laboratory tests, and consult individuals on HIV pre-exposure drugs and post-exposure drugs. Pharmacists will first have to complete an educational training course on the administration of tests and medications prior to being permitted to assist patients. 

“This law will effectively cut down on wait times and provide life-saving care to thousands of Illinoisans,” Simmons said. “Doing so will especially help reduce new HIV infections among cisgender Black women, LGBTQ+ people, Latinos, and those who lack health insurance.”

Under the previous law, pharmacists in Illinois were not permitted to consult or assess individuals on HIV infections. Pharmacists were also not permitted to administer or dispense preventative medications without a prescription from a health care provider.

“Far too many people in Illinois lack regular access to a doctor,” Simmons said. “Increasing access to these medications through community-based pharmacies will save lives.”

It is believed this law will help reduce new HIV cases by up to 90% by 2030, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Biomedical solutions PrEP and PEP medications are up to 99% effective in preventing HIV when taken as prescribed, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

House Bill 4430 was signed into law on Friday and is effective immediately.

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons Parent MentorCHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) released the following statement regarding the 2022 Parent Mentor Graduating Class with more than 1,300 Parent Mentors and more than 200 Parent Mentor coordinators and organizers from 40 community organizations and 200 schools in 39 school districts across the state of Illinois.

“It is an honor for me to provide some thoughtful words to the amazing Parent Mentors of this year’s class. They help fill a systemic gap in our education system by volunteering their time a couple hours a day to assist our teachers in instruction and organizing. They help our young students dream big and chart their course toward success, both in and out of the classroom.

“This program helps create stronger classrooms, stronger families, and stronger communities. This program works so well that many Parent Mentors go on to serve in faculty and staff roles for their schools.

“I am proud to have helped appropriate the necessary funds to not only continue, but expand, the Parent Mentor program.”

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons Youth CommitteeCHICAGO – To better inform and raise awareness for health issues that particularly effect men, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) led a measure to create the division of men’s health within the Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Health Promotion.

“We know that men are less likely to go see a doctor or other healthcare professional when they are not feeling right,” Simmons said. “They may end up missing their body’s signs of sickness and eventually progress to disease – especially if they are not educated on signs to lookout for.”

Life expectancy of men remains more than five years less than women, and men lead in nine of the top ten causes of death in the United States. Simmons’ measure would raise awareness of health issues particular to men that are not currently or adequately addressed by IPDH, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, smoking cessation, heart disease, and mental health.

“This law will raise awareness of health issues millions of men suffer from each day,” Simmons said. “I am proud to help usher in a new era of communication and prevention for men across the state.”

House Bill 4589 was signed into law last week and takes effect next January.

Category: Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from Illinois General Assembly LGBTQ Caucus & Equality Illinois:

This week in response to an outcry from a hateful few, Illinois-based insurer State Farm dropped their support for The GenderCool Project, which provides LGBTQ-affirming books to schools across the country on a voluntary basis. We are disappointed State Farm chose to make a knee- jerk concession to bigotry rather than stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community and our allies who support inclusion. Given the rise of hate crimes and discrimination, decisions like this embolden those peddling hatred and make our society a more dangerous place.

While other states push intolerance and try to roll back the clock on our hard-fought rights, Illinois has been a champion in affirming the dignity our LGBTQ community. We have taken active steps to ensure Illinois schools teach students about the struggles and history of the LGBTQ community, as well as Black history and the history of communities of color broadly. In fact, Illinois recently became the first state to mandate teaching Asian American history.

State Farm promotes itself as 'standing in collaboration with LGBTQ organizations' to 'ensure all communities are valued and treated with respect and dignity.' This latest action to rescind support for GenderCool and the teaching of gender identity to families that want it is in direct contradiction to State Farm's purported values. Unless State Farm reverses its course of action, we will be compelled to call out State Farm's hypocrisy, including, but not limited to, any LGBTQ marketing State Farm plans on doing during Pride month.

Senator Mike Simmons

Majority Leader Greg Harris

Representative Kelly Cassidy

Representative Lamont Robinson

Representative Sam Yingling

Brian Johnson, CEO, Equality Illinois

Category: Press Releases

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(773) 769-1717

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