Just three Presidential candidates thought HIV important enough to set out a plan
Out of all the US Presidential candidates, just three decided to offer forward a plan to tackle HIV and AIDS.
All of the candidates were contacted in December by the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) organisation.
They were sent a questionnaire and told that there was a January 18 deadline.
The questions asked them about their knowledge of HIV and AIDS, and their potential plans going forward to reduce infection numbers.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders were the only three candidates to submit a response.
The three respondents all said they were in favour of increasing access to PrEP, the HIV prevention drug.
While the other two gave fairly standard answers in response to the PrEP question, Clinton went on to say that black gay men and trans women, who are disproportionately at risk of HIV infection, should be specifically targeted by awareness campaigns.
They all said they intended to extend PrEP access to women.
All three candidates were in favour of lifting the recently revised gay blood ban, now equal to the UK with a 12-month deferral period.
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In her response, Clinton wrote: “The rule will effectively serve as a lifetime ban for many healthy men.”
The final question in the pack sent to the candidates asked what they would do to address mental health issues for those living with or at risk of HIV.
While Sanders said he intended to double the number of drug treatment facilities providing HIV testing, Clinton vowed $4 of federal funding for each dollar states spent on the substance abuse epidemic in the US.
As well as providing support for investment in mental health, O’Malley said he planned to invest in housing and support for those in need.
Check out the full report here from the GMHC.