Statement by Michael J. Gifford, ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer, in advance of President Trump's Call to End New HIV Infections in the United States by 2030 in the State of the Union Address

“We have all the tools necessary, except a cure, to end the HIV epidemic in the United States.  The priority of President Trump to end new HIV infections in America by 2030 is a call we must all heed. In an era of divisiveness, it must serve to unify political and societal will to finally end HIV as an epidemic.”

“Achieving this goal will require the full partnership of the public and private sector, including significant new investments from both. There must also be a commitment to fundamental changes in healthcare access and financing, along with policy changes.”

“To end HIV/AIDS as an epidemic, the United States must ensure everyone living with and at-risk for HIV is aware of their status and is receiving the healthcare they need. We know today people who are successfully managing their disease as well as possible are unable to transmit HIV to others—benefiting them, their partners and our boarder communities. We must also make sure everyone at-risk for HIV has access to current information about how HIV is spread and prevention materials including clean needles, condoms on demand, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment. Universal and unfettered access to care and prevention are also necessary to change the trajectory of HIV/AIDS in America.”

“With nearly one-half of people with HIV not succeeding in their HIV treatment and one in seven people with HIV unaware of their status, substantially increasing funding for HIV prevention, care and treatment programs is essential to meet the President’s goal. Changes proposed or approved by the Administration to reduce access to Medicaid, curtail health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and deny medications funded through Medicare must be stopped or reversed. These programs and others are the hallmark of the fight against AIDS in America, including the Ryan White Act and the 340B program, and must be expanded in order to meet the President’s 2030 goal.”

“In addition to the importance of access to services and healthcare financing, there are critical public and private sector policy changes that need to be adopted. The President’s 2030 goal requires implementation of testing guidelines that for too long have been ignored by healthcare providers. We must also eliminate HIV stigma, racism, homophobia and transphobia that have kept people away from care. We must stop condemning all people living with HIV, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community and instead support and embrace them.”

“People living with HIV/AIDS, leaders of the organizations that support them, and leading public health and healthcare experts unveiled a new roadmap for ending HIV in America on World AIDS Day, 2018 which includes the necessary changes to healthcare access, financing and policy.  It is our surest, quickest way to end AIDS and needs to be the blueprint for the President’s 2030 goal.”