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Laser focused on HIV

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State Rep. Venton Jones is the first openly HIV-positive person elected to the Texas House Groups from across the state will converge on Austin to lobby lawmakers DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Rep.

Vinton Jones — the first member of the state House of Representatives who is out about his HIV-positive status — is already making a difference in the Texas Legislature, advocate Januari Fox, the policy, advocacy and community engagement director for Prism Health North Texas, said this week. “Vinton,” she added, “brings something different to the table.” Jones has filed legislation on HIV/AIDS issues, and Prism Health North Texas is sending a bus to the Capitol on March 27 to lobby for the bills he’s filed.

Fox said participants will be most focused on HB 2235, which would make an HIV test part of a standard STD screening in Texas.

Currently, you have to ask your doctor to add an HIV test, or your doctor has to ask if you’d like to include it, Fox said. To ask for an HIV test, you have to know it’s not automatically administered and be comfortable enough with your doctor to ask for the test.

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