Hillary Clinton backs HIV-preventing drugs in plan to create AIDS-free generation

Hillary Clinton has unveiled a new action plan on HIV/AIDS, backing HIV-preventing drugs and pledging to tackle transmissions among at-risk minority groups.

The Democratic nominee for President has experience on the topic, having helped boost funding for HIV prevention, research and treatment as First Lady and in the Senate.

She today laid out her plan on tackling the issue, which would see the dramatic expansion the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, and backing the use of HIV-preventing Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis drugs (PrEP) among at-risk groups.

She also called for a renewed focus on groups including black men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender individuals, African American women, and injection drug users.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has no specific policies on HIV/AIDS at all, due to the unorthodox nature of his campaign.

Mr Trump lists just seven total policy commitments across all issues: build a wall, second amendment rights, immigration reform, US-China trade reform, veterans reforms, tax reform, and repealing Obamacare.

Among its commitments Clinton’s plan promises to “expand utilization of HIV prevention medications, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).”

It says: “As we continue to increase HIV and AIDS research, we should also invest in the promising innovations that research is producing.

“For example, PrEP and other medications, when properly used, have proven effective in preventing HIV infections.

“The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has funded grants to state and local health departments to increase knowledge about and uptake of PrEP.

“Clinton will increase the CDC’s investment to ensure populations at greatest risk of infection have access to preventive medicines.”

It also promises to “Ensure disparities and barriers to care are emphasized when setting timelines and strengthening the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.”

The plan states: “Disparities and barriers to accessing care include age, gender, and regional differences. In setting timelines for ending AIDS as an epidemic, and in strengthening the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to meet these timelines, Clinton will place particular emphasis on expanding evidenced-based prevention, treatment, and community outreach initiatives for at-risk groups, including black men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender individuals, African American women, and injection drug users.

“She will also account for regional variations, like the particular needs of the southeast corridor of the United States. ”

A statement said “Throughout her career, Clinton has fought to combat HIV and AIDS—and the stigma and pain that accompany it. As First Lady, she advocated for increased funding for U.S. prevention and research efforts—especially for pediatric AIDS—and honored scientists committed to AIDS research.

“In the Senate, Clinton put forward legislation to expand global AIDS research, voted for the creation of PEPFAR and to defend and protect the Ryan White Act, and co-sponsored legislation to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income people living with HIV. Under Clinton’s leadership as secretary of state, American aid directly supporting people on antiretroviral treatment increased over 200 percent to reach over 6.7 million men, women, and children around the world.

“Clinton began an ambitious campaign to usher in an AIDS-free generation, oversaw the repeal of the HIV travel ban, which prevented people living with HIV and AIDS from entering the United States, and led efforts to end mother-to-child transmission.”

The statement continues: “Clinton’s record of commitment stands in stark contrast to that of Donald Trump and Mark Pence.

“Both Trump and Pence want to defund Planned Parenthood, a critical resource for HIV testing services.

“Under Mike Pence, Indiana experienced one of the worst HIV epidemics in the past two decades.

“Despite the fact that Indiana’s recent HIV epidemic was fueled by intravenous drug use, Pence’s rigid, ideological opposition to needle exchange programs stopped him from acting quickly to alleviate suffering in the hardest hit areas.

“One year later, counties that see skyrocketing HIV rates must foot the bill for their own needle exchanges without assistance from the state. Pence has a long record of putting his own ideological agenda before funding for HIV/AIDS.

“Pence has been called out for supporting diverting money away from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and providing it instead to organizations performing so-called ‘conversion therapy’ when he ran for Congress.

“In this campaign, Trump and Pence have not proposed a single idea for addressing the domestic and global HIV/AIDS epidemic.”