Washington, DC – In his State of the Union address, Donald Trump announced that his administration planned to end HIV transmission in the US by 2030. Both political leaders and LGBT activists lauded the goal but also expressed skepticism about Trump’s commitment to help. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) praised President Trump for his commitment. “As the largest HIV/AIDS organization in the world, AHF stands ready to partner in this daunting effort,” said said Michael Weinstein, the group’s president.
“The president’s call for ending HIV transmission in America is interesting, but if he is serious about ending the HIV/AIDS crisis, he must end his assault on health care and the dignity of the LGBTQ community,” Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said after the speech. “What LGBTQ people know is this: The Trump administration is the most anti-LGBTQ in modern history, and will seemingly stoop to any low to roll back the hard-won progress of marginalized communities in this country,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO at GLAAD, added. In fact, the Trump administration has compiled a dismal record on HIV issues, including abuse of HIV-positive individuals.
The administration discharged two Air Force members after learning they were HIV positive. The Department of Defense not only ended their careers but also publicly disclosed their HIV status. The administration shut down an HIV research facility in Montana because National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists there were using fetal tissue as a part of a research program searching for a cure for HIV. The so-called President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief gave a sizable grant to Focus on the Family for a project the anti-LGBT group was running in Africa. The Department of Health and Human Services issued new protocols that shield health care workers who refuse to treat LGBT patients or those living with HIV by claiming moral or religious objections. Trump fired the entire White House Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He submitted a budget proposal to Congress cutting HIV and AIDS research funding through NIH. (Seattle Gay News – Mike Andrew at Sgn.org/sgnnews47_06/page2.cfm and Sgn.org/sgnnews47_06/page10.cfm)