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Trump plans to announce ending HIV transmissions by 2030 in State of the Union

Trump plans to announce ending HIV transmissions by 2030 in State of the Union

A red ribbon hangs at the White House for World HIV/AIDS day.

Donald Trump is planning on announcing the United States’ goal of ending HIV transmissions by 2030 in his State of the Union address on Tuesday (5 February).

Politico first reported the news, confirming with ‘four individuals with knowledge of the planned remarks’.

Trump reportedly has a 10-year plan for directly addressing the HIV crisis within the US. Part of the plan includes focusing on communities with disproportionately higher risks of infection, despite consistently ignoring the LGBTI community in discussions of HIV.

This portion would take up the first five years, with an ultimate goal of stopping new transmission by the end of the 10-year plan.

While the speech is not finalized, two people within the Department of Health and Human Services reportedly said they are pressing Trump to include the strategy.

Is Trump listening to the advice of HIV organizations?

According to the CDC, 38,739 people within the US and dependent territories received HIV diagnoses in 2017. They also estimated that 1.1 million people in the US were living with HIV at the end of 2015, the most recent year such information is available.

This plan is consistent with other countries and organizations targeting the end of HIV transmissions.

Recently, the UK government announced their plans for zero HIV transmissions by 2030.

Organizations like UNAIDS have similar goals. While they also want to end transmissions in 11 years, they are working on a shorter-term goal as a step forward.

Known as 90-90-90, this plan has three parts to achieve by 2020. This includes 90% of all people living with HIV knowing their status, 90% of all infected individuals receiving ‘sustained antiretroviral therapy’, and 90% of such people having ‘viral suppression’.

GSN contacted UNAIDS for a response to Trump’s reported speech.

A checkered history

The Trump administration’s relationship with HIV — and the people most susceptible to transmission — has been fraught.

They have both continued funding years-long programs of HIV research and treatment, while also cutting funding to other HIV programs. Bill Gates also said he once had to explain the difference between HIV and HPV to Trump.

The Human Rights Campaign responded to the planned speech by calling out the administration’s threats to healthcare.

‘If this administration wants to combat the spread of HIV, they need to immediately end their efforts to cut Medicaid funding, undermine the Affordable Care Act and license discrimination against the most at-risk communities when they seek healthcare,’ said David Stacy, HRC’s Director of Government Affairs.

‘This administration simply cannot achieve this goal while, at the same time, charging forward with attacks on health care for the communities most impacted by HIV.’

Last year, Trump issued a new domestic gag rule targeting women and LGBTI people’s healthcare. He has also introduced plans to cut trans people’s healthcare.

GSN reached out to the White House for comment, but did not receive one by the time of publication.

See also

6 ways the US healthcare system is failing LGBTI people

Major breakthrough: Scientists succeed in destroying HIV-infected cells

President Donald Trump fired two Air Force members because they are HIV+