By publishing policy briefs, submitting public comment and testimony, writing opeds, participating in media interviews, and joining coalitions in partnership with other institutions, Fenway Health staff and affiliated researchers and scientists engaged in broad efforts throughout FY 2019 to advance and disseminate LGBTQIA+ and HIV-related health policy research. Highlights of that work include the following:
Fenway sent a team of five scientists and researchers to the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Led by Kenneth H. Mayer, M.D., Medical Research Director and Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute, the team presented research on syndemics, strategies to overcome barriers to care for transgender people, ways to expand access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and the use of digital technologies to stop HIV.
Fenway submitted a letter to the Massachusetts state legislature in support of passage of “An Act Relative to HIV Prevention Access for Young Adults” that would guarantee minors’ access to PrEP and other HIV/STI prevention services without parental consent.
Beginning in September and throughout the Fall of 2018, Fenway was a member of the Yes on 3 steering committee, which successfully defeated an attempt to rescind legislation that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in public places such as hospitals, community health centers, retail stores, restaurants, and systems of public transportation.
The Fenway Institute and the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights released “Emerging Best Practices for the Management and Treatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Intersex Youth In Juvenile Justice Settings,” a report that identifies best practices in the management of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) youth in juvenile justice settings.
Sean Cahill, the Director of Health Policy Research for The Fenway Institute authored an oped for The Hill titled, “Criminal justice reforms aimed at LGBT youth will improve conditions for everyone.”
Fenway submitted Public Comment to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Program Office on the office’s Draft Recommendation Statement, Prevention of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. Fenway expressed strong support for the agency’s proposed A rating for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for persons at high risk of HIV acquisition.
Fenway submitted Public Comment to the Regulatory Coordination Division of the Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security on DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” Fenway expressed profound concern that the
The Fenway Institute submitted testimony to the Boston City Council’s Committee On Homelessness, Mental Health, And Recovery Hearing for a hearing to examine mental health resources, de-escalation and treatment services for suicide prevention in the City of Boston. The Fenway Institute provided information on the disproportionate burden of suicidality among LGBT people.
The Fenway Institute released the policy brief “Trump Administration continued to advance discriminatory policies and practices against LGBT people and people living with HIV in 2018” documenting that in his second year in office, President Donald Trump continued to promote discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people and people living with HIV.
Fenway submitted Public Comment to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on the ONC’s Draft Strategy on Reducing Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs. Fenway urged ONC to continue and increase efforts to include and make available sexual orientation and gender identity standards in health IT product certification requirements and public health reporting mechanisms.
Fenway submitted Public Comment to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services on RIN 0938-AT92 Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses. Fenway expressed strong opposition to the proposed rule, which would remove “protected status” from antiretroviral medications, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and other classes of drugs under Medicare Part D.
Fenway submitted Public Comment to the Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 for the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the Proposed Healthy People 2030 Objectives. Fenway offered recommendations throughout the document to increase inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and people with HIV.
Fenway advocated for the filing and co-sponsorship of 11 bills at the Massachusetts State House related to issues dealing with LGBTQIA+ health and equality, HIV prevention and care, and housing:
• An Act relative to HIV prevention access for young adults
• An Act relative to preventing overdose deaths and increasing access to treatment
• An Act relative to Massachusetts home care eligibility
• An Act Relative to End of Life Options
• An Act improving Hepatitis C screening
• An Act Relative to Abusive Practices to Change Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Minors
• An Act Relative to Healthy Youth
• An Act to collect data on LGBTQI prisoners held in restrictive housing
• An Act to Provide Identification to Homeless Youth and Families
• An Act providing a bill of rights for people experiencing homelessness
• An Act to further provide a rental arrearage program
Fenway submitted Public Comment to the Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity of the United Nations Human Rights Council in response to a Request for Information (RFI): Improving Efficiency, Effectiveness, Coordination, and Accountability of HIV and Viral Hepatitis Prevention, Care, and Treatment Programs. Fenway submitted information about collecting data about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Fenway submitted testimony to the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities in support of passage of “An Act Relative to Abusive Practices to Change Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Minors.”
Fenway submitted testimony in support of the Massachusetts Legislature’s “An Act for prevention and access to appropriate care and treatment of addiction.”
Fenway submitted testimony to the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health in support of “An Act relative to end of life options.”
The Fenway Institute of Fenway Health released the policy brief “Trans Men Cervical Cancer Screening” with recommendations for reducing rates of cervical cancer among transmasculine patients who were assigned a female sex at birth but have a gender identity that lies on the diverse spectrum of masculinity.
Fenway submitted a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives urging passage of the Equality Act
Fenway submitted testimony in support of the Massachusetts Legislature’s “An Act Extending The Authorization For The Use Of Certain Discount Vouchers For Prescription Drugs.”
Fenway submitted a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education supporting the inclusion of information about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and data showing that someone with an undetectable HIV viral load cannot transmit the virus to their partner in the state’s health education curriculum framework.
Fenway submitted Public Comment to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program. Fenway expressed support for the collection of data about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Fenway submitted testimony to the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education in support of “An Act Relative to Healthy Youth.”
Fenway submitted testimony to the Massachusetts Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee support of “An Act to Provide Identification to Homeless Youth and Families”
Fenway and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition submitted a letter to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy urging that her office protect the rights of transgender people to health coverage in Massachusetts after the Trump administration proposed a change to Rule 1557 of the Affordable Care Act removing the provision prohibiting discrimination in health care settings on the basis of gender identity.
Launched the Getting to Zero Activist Academy, a seven-month fellowship program for 20 activists working on projects advocating for public funding, bills, and executive actions and regulations related to issues dealing with LGBTQIA health and equality, HIV prevention and care, housing, and supervised injection facilities.