Ohio Passes Key Public Health Measure Through Budget Process

In News by AHF

Enacted legislation will improve targeted, community-based disease prevention efforts by public health officials and outreach workers to prevent the spread of disease
including HIV and hepatitis C.

COLUMBUS, OH (June 30, 2015) AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (ATGC), an affiliate of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, today applaud the Governor, Ohio Senate and Ohio House on the 2016-17 budget language found in Am. Sub. HB 64 that will now permit and regulate bloodborne pathogen programs for improved disease prevention efforts in Ohio.

ATGC, the original catalyst for this amendment, has been working in Ohio for the past six years on efforts to obtain clarity within law to reduce the spread of disease through bloodborne pathogen programs. During the previous General Assembly, the Ohio House passed HB 93, sponsored by State Representatives Nickie Antonio and Barbara Sears, but ultimately did not pass before the close of session.  This amendment in HB 64 will provide clarity for bloodborne pathogen programs to help prevent the spread of disease and save lives.

“We thank Governor Kasich for signing this into law, as well as the leadership of the Ohio General Assembly for proactively addressing this public health priority.” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“This vital provision would authorize the establishment of bloodborne pathogen programs for the purpose of reducing the transmission and spread of disease such as HIV and hepatitis while strengthening access to treatment programs to fight addiction,” said Garith Fulham, director, Midwest Policy & Advocacy for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

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