Washington to offer $1 million to help fight HIV epidemic in Utah

The State of Utah is expected to announce Thursday it is making a $1.2 million contribution to a new HIV prevention program for young people, according to a release from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.

The program will help Utah students with HIV, HIV/AIDS and other serious health problems, and they will be eligible for up to $1,500 in grants to purchase and maintain HIV testing kits and medications.

The State of Salt Lake, in partnership with other states, is also making an additional $500 million available to help Utah fight the spread of HIV in the state, the release said.

The state has a long history of supporting HIV prevention efforts, with about a third of Utahns identified as living with HIV or AIDS.

In 2012, the state passed a law that allowed people with HIV to seek HIV testing at a public health center.

The bill also provided health providers the ability to ask for a test in private.

The new program will begin in October, according the release, and the first group of students will be enrolled this year.