Joe Biden has promised tackle LGBT+ health inequality in his World AIDS Day message, proving once again that he’s a very different president to Donald Trump.
Ahead of World AIDS Day (1 December), the president issued a proclamation in which he said his administration was “focused on addressing health inequities and inequalities and ensuring that the voices of people with HIV are at the centre of our work to end the HIV epidemic globally”.
Biden “honoured and remembered” the “36 million people, including 700,000 Americans” that have been lost since the start of the AIDS crisis, and noted the impact of COVID-19 on access to HIV-related healthcare.
He said: “The pandemic has… interrupted HIV research and highlighted the work that still remains to achieve equitable access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment in every community — particularly for communities of colour, adolescent girls and young women, and the LGBTQI+ community.”
Biden pointed to his work so far to tackle HIV, including reopening the White House Office of National AIDS Policy that was shut down by Trump, and said that his administration would this week be “releasing an updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy to decrease health inequities in new diagnoses and improve access to comprehensive, evidence-based HIV-prevention tools”.
He added: “Ending the HIV epidemic is within our reach, and we are committed to finishing this work.
“On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to building on the progress of the last 4 decades; upholding and advancing human rights; supporting research, science, and data-driven solutions; expanding access to housing, education, and economic empowerment; and fighting stigma and discrimination.
“No one living with HIV should suffer the undeserved guilt and prejudice that too many continue to experience.”
In contrast to Joe Biden, Donald Trump never in four years mentioned LGBT+ people on World AIDS Day
Joe Biden’s World AIDS Day proclamation was in stark contrast with Donald Trump’s, with the former president failing to mention LGBT+ people four years in a row.
Trump, who during his time in office dismissed all members of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, mentioned in his final proclamation last year that issued in “this deadly disease disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities”, but entirely failed to mention the impact on gay and bisexual men, who make up 69 per cent of all HIV diagnoses in the US.
The LGBT+ community also made up the overwhelming majority of victims of the AIDS crisis.