Trump and AIDS

“We will eradicate AIDS in America, and we’re very close,” Donald Trump said on Aug. 1 in a Cincinnati speech. “We will lay the foundation for landing American astronauts on the surface of Mars. … We will be ending the AIDS epidemic shortly in America, and curing childhood cancer very shortly.”

The comment has drawn widespread questions among Nevada AIDS activists on how an administration that has been opposed to AIDS programs of all kinds could accomplish such a thing.

• Trump proposed cutting AIDS research and prevention funding by more than $300 million.

• He supports reducing funding to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, established under the second George Bush, but Congress has resisted the cuts (Kaiser Health News reports the program “is credited with saving millions of lives).”

• Trump tried to divert more than $5 million in HIV/AIDS funding for detention of migrants.

• Under Trump’s rejected health care plan, the cost of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—a daily HIV preventive pill—would have risen sharply.

• Trump has left the directorship of National AIDS Policy vacant, with the result that the program has languished, with six members of the White House advisory board resigning in protest and the remaining members fired.