Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton Meets With HIV/AIDS Experts & Advocates

Longtime AIDS activist Peter Staley  with Hillary Clinton

Although Sen. Bernie Sanders cancelled his scheduled meeting with HIV/AIDS experts and activists, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today met with a diverse coalition of more than 70 leaders and organizations in the HIV community.

Longtime HIV/AIDS activist Peter Staley just posted this after taking part in the meeting:

We started about an hour late, but she stayed well beyond our budgeted 45 minutes -- over an hour, in the end. A frank exchange. It was a first step in what we all agreed would be an ongoing process with her campaign. No surprise -- she's an HIV wonk.

Among other things, Hillary proposed expanding access to PrEP for prevention,  protect HIV+ folks from discrimination, and increase HIV/AIDS research.

Via press release:

The meeting took place at the Hillary for America headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, where they discussed Clinton’s continued commitment to tackling the epidemic in the U.S. and globally, fighting discrimination against PLHIV and AIDS, and working together with HIV and AIDS experts and advocates to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

Hillary Clinton has been a longtime advocate in the fight to treat and prevent HIV and AIDS.

As First Lady, Clinton traveled the world to raise awareness on combating HIV and AIDS and assembled government officials and world leaders to increase funding for prevention and research efforts.

As Senator, Clinton introduced legislation to improve and expand global HIV and AIDS research, assistance, and education. She also co-sponsored the Early Treatment for HIV Act to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income people living with HIV.

As Secretary of State, Clinton began an ambitious campaign to usher in an AIDS-free generation. She oversaw a more than 200 percent increase in the number of people on antiretroviral treatment directly supported by the United States to reach over 6.7 million men, women, and children around the world.

Clinton has also emphasized HIV and AIDS in her philanthropic work. Almost 10 million people with HIV or AIDS around the world have benefited from more affordable medicine because of the Clinton Foundation. And since 2002, the Clinton Health Access Initiative has reduced the cost of HIV and AIDS medications in many countries from over $10,000 per person per year to just $100 to $200 per person per year.

During this campaign, Clinton has released specific policies to tackle the HIV and AIDS epidemic. As President, she will:

Cap out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenses for people with HIV and AIDS. Clinton has announced a plan to hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable and to achieve lower drug costs for Americans, including for medications that help treat HIV and reduce the risk of contracting AIDS. Clinton will ensure that Americans can get the care their doctors prescribe by requiring health insurance plans to cap covered out-of-pocket prescription drug costs at $250 per month. She also will allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and will stop direct-to-consumer advertising subsidies for drug companies—reinvesting those funds in research.

Expand the utilization of HIV prevention medications, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). While we work to diagnose and treat all Americans with HIV and AIDS, we also must work to prevent exposure. Decades of research are beginning to offer a promising path to prevention. Clinton will increase the CDC investment to ensure populations at greatest risk of infection have access to PrEP, and encourage states to follow suit.

Protect those with HIV and AIDS from discrimination. Clinton will work with Congress to review and reform outdated and stigmatizing HIV criminalization laws—and call on states to do the same. And she is committed to continuing to aggressively enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights laws to fight HIV-related discrimination.

Continue to increase HIV and AIDS research and invest in the promising innovations that research is producing. Researchers at the NIH and elsewhere are poised to make even more progress towards curing HIV, developing long-acting treatments that do not require daily pill taking, and better understanding the social and structural factors that can impact a person’s ability to access HIV prevention and care services. As President, Clinton will increase funding to ensure this progress to continue.

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