President Trump has once again omitted any recognition of LGBTQ people as among the groups primarily affected by the epidemic in his proclamation Wednesday recognizing World AIDS Day.
For the third year in a row, Trump omitted any recognition of LGBTQ people even as he touted his administration’s “unprecedented initiative” to eliminate at least 90 percent of new HIV infections in the United States within 10 years.
“Through this initiative, we will continue to lead the charge in applying the latest science to better diagnose, treat, care for and save the lives of individuals living with HIV by focusing on the cities and states most impacted by the disease,” Trump wrote in his proclamation.
Trump did not mention LGBTQ people in his proclamations issued in 2017 and 2018.
The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson noted that Trump’s statement stands in contrast to President Barack Obama’s 2016 proclamation, which spelled out HIV/AIDS predominantly affects “gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, black and Latino Americans, people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs.”
“By promoting his administration’s plan to beat HIV/AIDS without enumerating the groups most affected by the epidemic, Trump declines to recognize HIV/AIDS as a social justice issue and not just a disease,” wrote Johnson.
Advocates expressed their displeasure with the omission.
“Another year, another empty World AIDS Day proclamation from Donald Trump,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David in a statement. “This administration’s ongoing refusal to even acknowledge the communities most impacted by the HIV epidemic reinforces just how hollow their words continue to be.”
“The only way for this administration to treat and combat the spread of HIV is to stop their constant assault on the rights of LGBTQ people, end their war on Americans’ health care and fully fund domestic HIV initiatives,” David said.
About 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV.
In 2017, bisexual and gay men accounted for more than two-thirds of the country’s new HIV diagnoses. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 44 percent of Black trans women have HIV.
Read the full proclamation here.