Last night’s State of The Union address saw Donald Trump make vague reference to plans to end HIV transmissions in the US within the next eleven years, without any indication of prevention strategies.
Speaking to an audience of Republicans, Democrats and guests, the US President said:
“Scientific breakthroughs have brought a once-distant dream within reach. Together we will defeat AIDS in America.”
Trump made the promise without any indication or reference to increased spending, research, the rollout of PrEP or action plans for national HIV prevention.
In the past, the Trump administration has proposed cutting HIV and AIDS expenditure. The president has also dismissed advisory councils on the issue.
Aryah Lester, the deputy director of the Transgender Strategy Center, indicated the necessary steps to take in order to drastically reduce new HIV diagnoses in the US:
“If Donald Trump truly wants to stop the spread of HIV, his administration must reverse their attacks on Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and the rights of LGBTQ patients. No real public health agenda can ever include dangerous cuts or discrimination against those who need services the most.”
As it stands, over 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV today. 2016 saw 39,782 new diagnoses of HIV.
In contrast, the NHS in the UK has announced plans to end HIV transmissions by 2030, though their promise was met with structured plans focused on increased funding and targeted prevention methods.
— GLAAD (@glaad) February 6, 2019
During the State of the Union address, Trump did not mention the United States’ LGBT+ community, despite the attendance of six transgender members of the military, who had been invited by the Democratic members of Congress, in acknowledgement of the Trump administration’s proposed military ban on transgender people.
The president’s address also saw a continuation of his anti-immigrant sentiment in which he stated that immigrants are responsible for a crime wave in the US, despite a lack of any evidence to support this claim.
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