Trump’s SOTU supports ending HIV in the U.S. His actions say otherwise.
For Immediate Release
February 5, 2019
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) – In response to the 2019 State of the Union address, Samantha Dercher, SIECUS’ Federal Policy Director, released the following statement:
“Amidst the racist views on immigration, empty calls for unity, and an abundance of misinformation, one declaration from President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union stood out: his pledge to end HIV transmissions in the United States by 2030.
While an admirable sentiment, the president’s words contradict the policies and decisions that he’s made throughout his time in office. This administration has taken active steps to harm individuals living with HIV and halt progress on prevention and treatment, including, but not limited to:
- Attempting to undermine and eliminate the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, which helped to insure tens of thousands of people living with HIV
- Proposing funding cuts to life-saving programs like the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV prevention efforts, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and Title X clinics that provide HIV screenings
- Withholding vital information from young people by increasing federal funding for shaming, failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and undermining evidence-based adolescent sexual health promotion programs
- Failing to enact legislation to support quality sex education and access to care for young people, including the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act and the Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act
In addition to these disastrous policies, the president’s queerphobic, racist, and sexist rhetoric are at odds with his purported goals. Following tonight’s speech, we sincerely hope to see this administration promote proactive policies instead of empty promises. Unlike the president, we’ve worked with hundreds of HIV and community organizations across the U.S. to outline steps to end the epidemic. We encourage you to read that here. And we hope the president will, too.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sex education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the rights of all people to accurate information, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.