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Judge rules against required coverage of HIV prevention drug

Positive HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) blood test results, computer illustration.
Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has ruled that required coverage of an HIV prevention drug under the Affordable Care Act violates a Texas employer’s religious beliefs and undercut the broader system that determines which preventive drugs are covered in the U.S. The ruling was handed down Wednesday by Fort Worth-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, who ruled in 2018 that the entire ACA is invalid. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately overturned that decision. O’Connor’s latest ruling targets a mandate under the law that requires employers to cover the HIV prevention treatment known as PrEP, which is a pill taken daily to prevent infection. The ruling's impact beyond the plaintiffs wasn't immediately clear. The Biden administration is likely to appeal.