Metro Weekly

Clinton promises to expand PrEP to combat HIV

Clinton also pledged greater funding for HIV/AIDS research and an end to discriminatory laws

Hillary Clinton - Photo: Gage Skidmore

Hillary Clinton – Photo: Gage Skidmore

Hillary Clinton has met with HIV and AIDS experts to discuss ways to achieve an “AIDS-free generation.”

In a press release issued by her campaign, Clinton met with “more than 70 leaders and organizations” at her Brooklyn headquarters to discuss “Clinton’s continued commitment to tackling” HIV/AIDS, both in the United States and abroad.

As part of her campaign — and an attempt to appeal to LGBT voters, some of whom are still sore that the former Secretary of State waited until 2013 to announce her support for marriage equality — Clinton released specific policies to deal with HIV/AIDS. As President, she pledges to:

  • Cap out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenses for people with HIV/AIDS, limiting costs to a maximum of $250 per month.
  • Allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and reinvest funds in research.
  • Expand the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), including increasing investment in the CDC to “ensure populations at greatest risk of infection have access to PrEP, and encourage states to follow suit.”
  • Increase investment in HIV/AIDS research, including efforts to produce long-acting treatments that don’t require a daily pill.
  • Reform outdated HIV criminalization laws to protect those with HIV and AIDS from discrimination.

The press release also touts Clinton’s prior efforts on the matter, including raising awareness of HIV/AIDS during her time as First Lady, overseeing an increase in the number of Americans on antiretroviral treatment during her time in the Senate, and using the Clinton Foundation to reduce the cost of HIV/AIDS medications in countries most at need.

“It is essential that our next President be an outspoken champion for ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, who has endorsed Clinton for president. “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.”

Clinton’s efforts to show strong, anti-discriminatory policies for HIV/AIDS will likely help smooth over some of the cracks formed during the funeral of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, when Clinton praised President Reagan and Nancy Reagan for starting “a national conversation” on AIDS. The Reagans are widely criticized for remaining quiet on the matter as thousands of people died during the 1980s.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.