President Trump Promises to End HIV by 2030 Despite Anti-HIV Actions
Fort Lauderdale — This week President Trump announced a goal of ending HIV transmissions in the U.S. by 2030. For HIV advocates around the country, eradicating HIV has been a viable goal for years since we now have the tools to stop transmissions. Unfortunately, standing in the way of HIV advocates — and now the Trump-Pence administration — is the administration itself. Since taking office, this administration has made headlines in the HIV field for harmful policies directly contradicting the President’s recent hopeful statement.
“We are optimistic about making HIV eradication by 2030 a federal priority, but we cannot ignore the damaging stigma that President Trump has perpetuated about people living with HIV,” said Alejandro Acosta, Equality Florida’s HIV Advocacy Project Coordinator. “We know that stigma discourages people from knowing their status and getting into treatment. It’s wholly at odds with President Trump’s stated goal.”
To date, the Trump-Pence administration has levied outright attacks on people living with HIV. They sought to strip millions of dollars from the Ryan White program, which would cover essential needs of uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV, and relocate the funds to its barbaric family separation policy at the border.
The administration has also targeted military service members living with HIV for discharge, claiming they were “undeployable.” The policy completely fails to recognize current science in HIV treatment and prevention. Moreover, the Trump administration proposed Medicaid funding cuts would directly impact individuals living with HIV who depend on Medicaid Part D for access to treatment. Multiple members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS have resigned over the administration’s support for legislation harmful to people living with HIV.
“States like Florida that have the highest rates of new HIV transmissions in the nation need more than grand gestures. Florida needs more services and resources focused on the most at-risk communities to curb new transmissions and offer treatment to those who need it. Our advocacy community has hope, but we will continue to fight stigma in Florida and hold accountable those who today promise us change,” added Acosta