Sen. Sanborn bill to help those trying to prevent the spread of HIV receives unanimous, bipartisan support in Senate

Posted: February 26, 2020 | Senator Heather Sanborn

AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate on Tuesday gave bipartisan support to a bill from Sen. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, that would prevent insurance discrimination against those trying to prevent the spread of HIV. LD 1764, “An Act To Update the Maine Insurance Code” — which would amend the Maine Insurance Code to prohibit the denial or limitation of life insurance coverage for people who take pre-exposure prophylaxis medication to prevent HIV infection — received unanimous support in a roll-call vote.

“Thanks to medical advancements, HIV is not only treatable, it’s preventable,” said Sen. Sanborn. “It’s time our statutes and law reflect modern medical practices. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for supporting this important bill.”

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a drug that, when taken regularly, helps prevent the spread of HIV. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by about 99 percent when taken daily. The first PrEP drug was approved by the FDA in 2012.

LD 1764 faces more votes in the Maine Senate and House. If passed, the bill will then go to Gov. Janet Mills, for her to sign into law, veto, or allow to become law without her signature.