Even when it comes to observing National HIV Testing Day, Donald Trump’s White House continues to ignore the LGBTQ community.
The annual observance, founded in 1995, encourages Americans to get tested and know their HIV status.
While the Trump White House did issue a statement yesterday, it was completely void of any mention of LGBTQ people.
On National HIV Testing Day, we recognize the great progress we have made in the fight against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), including our Nation’s efforts to spread awareness about the importance of getting tested. Early detection of HIV—using a simple and routine test—is instrumental in helping contain the advancement of the virus to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Today, medical advances are helping more than one million Americans affected by HIV live longer and healthier lives. Further, in June 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved generic medications that dramatically reduce the risk of infection in the first place.
Despite this progress, in 2016, nearly 40,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in the United States. People between the ages of 20 and 29 received more than a third of those diagnoses. Even more troubling, 44 percent of people living with HIV between the ages of 13 and 24 were unaware that they were carrying the virus. National HIV Testing Day is an important reminder that those who are unaware they are carrying the disease are the most at risk for inadvertently infecting others and missing out on potentially life-saving treatments.
As we observe National HIV Testing Day, we celebrate the advancements we have made in medical science, and I encourage all Americans to invest in their health and be aware of their HIV status. Through greater awareness and education, we can all do our part to lead healthier and longer lives.
So, while acknowledging the disease and a few statistics based on age, what the statement clearly omits is any mention of the fact that the risk for HIV disproportionately affects LGBTQ people and people of color.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, gay and bisexual men are affected by HIV more than any other group in the United States. When you factor in race, the numbers skew even further.
Since taking office, Donald Trump and his administration have continually ignored and shown disrespect for the LGBTQ community.
Last December 1, Trump’s first World AIDS Day as president, the White House issued a proclamation that completely ignored LGBTQ folks.
Shortly after that, Trump fired the entire Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS without reason.
Both last year and this year, Trump took the time to observe June as National Ocean Month, National Caribbean-American Month and National Homeownership Month.
But complete silence about Pride Month.
Remember when Trump campaigned saying he would be ‘better for the gays’ than Hillary?
Yeah, not so much.
Trump issues statement on National HIV Testing Day. Just like last year, no mention of LGBT people being vulnerable to the disease. pic.twitter.com/gsxB4gH28o
— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) June 27, 2018
Shot: Trump says he supports programs to end #HIV epidemic.
Chaser: Advocates for deep cuts to domestic & international HIV programs. pic.twitter.com/0OjMOrRObe
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 27, 2017