Clinton meets with HIV/AIDS activists; promises to expand PrEP availability

Thu. May 12, 2016 8:09 PM by News Staff

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton met with HIV and AIDS experts and advocates at her Brooklyn headquarters Thursday, where they discussed Clinton's commitment to tackling the epidemic and achieving an "AIDS-free generation."

The Clinton Campaign released a press statement describing what transpired during the conversation and in it called the Democratic presidential front runner "a longtime advocate in the fight to treat and prevent HIV and AIDS."

According to the statement, Clinton promises to cap out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenses for people with HIV and AIDS, expand the utilization of HIV prevention medications, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), protect those with HIV and AIDS from discrimination, and continue to increase HIV and AIDS research and invest in the promising innovations that research is producing.

Following the meeting, the Human Rights Campaign released the following statements:

"It is essential that our next President be an outspoken champion for ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "Secretary Clinton's meeting today with advocates underscores her commitment to do everything she can to help people living with and affected by HIV, and to work with us to end the epidemic and the continued stigma around HIV."

"As a young, Black gay man, I want to underscore the importance of our elected officials truly understanding the unique challenges facing LGBT people, and today's conversation with Secretary Clinton was a welcome opportunity," said Noël Gordon Jr., Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equality at the HRC Foundation. "When one in two Black gay men in America will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, and where the rate of HIV among transgender women is shockingly high, we must confront the ways stigma and discrimination keep LGBT people from getting tested or treated for HIV. I believe we will have a full partner in our work if Secretary Clinton is in the White House."

Thursday's meeting follows Clinton's gaffe last month when she praised Nancy Reagan's efforts on HIV/AIDS. Bernie Sanders cancelled a similar meeting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV and roughly 50,000 more people are infected each year.

Related: Washington Blade endorses Clinton for president