Trump gives World AIDS day proclamation and fails to mention LGBT people. Again

Lily Wakefield November 28, 2019
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World AIDS Day proclamation

President Donald Trump gave a World AIDS Day proclamation and didn't mention LGBT+ people for the third year in a row. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Donald Trump’s proclamation for World AIDS Day 2019 made no mention of LGBT+ people, despite the fact that the community is one of the most severely affected by the disease.

The US president has made similar proclamations on the other two World AIDS Days he has been in office, 2017 and 2018, and he also failed to mention LGBT+ people on both of those occasions.

Trump wrote: “We pause to solemnly remember those worldwide who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS-related illnesses.

“As we mourn this tragic loss of life, we acknowledge the remarkable advancements in medical care, treatment, acceptance, and understanding surrounding the virus.”

According to the US government’s own statistics there are around 1.1million people living with HIV in the USA, and in 2017 66 percent of these were gay and bisexual men.

The closest that Trump got to acknowledging this huge statistic was by writing: “Increased efforts are necessary to reach those populations disproportionately affected by HIV.”

In contrast, Obama’s 2016 proclamation for World AIDS Day clearly stated: “Gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, black and Latino Americans, people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs are at a disproportionate risk.

“People living with HIV can face stigma and discrimination, creating barriers to prevention and treatment services.”

HIV/AIDS policy has suffered significantly under the Trump administration, with the president shuttering the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, dismissing all the members of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and allegedly draining HIV/AIDS funding to pay for child migrant detention.

Vice president Mike Pence famously once pledged to drain funding from the programme in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy.

Pence wrote on a congressional campaign website in 2000: “Congress should support the reauthorisation of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organisations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviours that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.

“Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour.”

Related topics: AIDS, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, HIV, proclamation, world aids day

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