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Bill would allow youth to obtain HIV prevention meds on own

HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether to enable young people to receive preventative medication for HIV infection without their parents’ consent.

Advocates on Monday told the Public Health Committee such legislation could help those who don’t feel comfortable discussing their sexuality or sexual activities with their parents.

Samuel Smith is one of those young people. Now 20 years old and HIV-positive, he told lawmakers he knew about pre-exposure prophylaxis as a teen but couldn’t obtain it without revealing his personal life. Smith says he felt at the time that keeping his secret was more important than his health.

Connecticut currently allows minors to receive HIV treatment without parental consent. This bill would amend the existing law.

Some people voiced concern at Monday’s public hearing about how the legislation usurps parental consent.

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