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Hillary Clinton vows to make HIV-preventing PrEP drugs more available as infections rise for gay men

Nick Duffy May 13, 2016

Hillary Clinton met with a coalition of HIV groups today – and pledged to increase access to pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada can reduce people’s chances of being infected with HIV by up to 99 percent, if taken daily.

The drug has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation and is already routinely available to at-risk gay men in a number of countries including the US.

A statement was released today after Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton met with a collective of HIV activists and charities – where she pledged to help push PrEP for at-risk groups.

According to the press release, the Democrat said she would “expand the utilization of HIV prevention medications, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)”.

The statement says: “While we work to diagnose and treat all Americans with HIV and AIDS, we also must work to prevent exposure. Decades of research are beginning to offer a promising path to prevention.

“Clinton will increase the CDC investment to ensure populations at greatest risk of infection have access to PrEP, and encourage states to follow suit.”

HIV infections among heterosexuals have steadily fallen over the past few years, but the CDC found last year that they continue to rise among men who have sex with men.

Elsewhere she took a leaf out of the Bernie Sanders playbook by pledging to “hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable and to achieve lower drug costs for Americans, including for medications that help treat HIV and reduce the risk of contracting AIDS”.

She also promised to “work with Congress to review and reform outdated and stigmatizing HIV criminalization laws – and call on states to do the same”, to tackle laws that still criminalise HIV.

It adds: “She is committed to continuing to aggressively enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights laws to fight HIV-related discrimination.”

Bernie Sanders has rescheduled a planned meeting with the HIV charities – after he initially dropped the plan with no explanation.

The statement re-caps Clinton’s long history of HIV advocacy.

It says: “As First Lady, Clinton travelled the world to raise awareness on combating HIV and AIDS and assembled government officials and world leaders to increase funding for prevention and research efforts.

“As Senator, Clinton introduced legislation to improve and expand global HIV and AIDS research, assistance, and education. She also co-sponsored the Early Treatment for HIV Act to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income people living with HIV.

“As Secretary of State, Clinton began an ambitious campaign to usher in an AIDS-free generation. She oversaw a more than 200 percent increase in the number of people on antiretroviral treatment directly supported by the United States to reach over 6.7 million men, women, and children around the world.

“Clinton has also emphasized HIV and AIDS in her philanthropic work. Almost 10 million people with HIV or AIDS around the world have benefited from more affordable medicine because of the Clinton Foundation. And since 2002, the Clinton Health Access Initiative has reduced the cost of HIV and AIDS medications in many countries from over $10,000 per person per year to just $100 to $200 per person per year.”

More: AIDS, coalition, Gay, group, groups, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, HIV, LGBT, Sexuality, US, US Election 2016

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