President Donald Trump's first-ever
proclamation for World AIDS Day left out some of the groups most
affected by the pandemic.
December 1 has been designated as World
AIDS Day every year since 1988. World AIDS Day is dedicated to
raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic and mourning those lost to the
In his proclamation, Trump called for
the eradication of the disease “as a public health threat.”
“Today, on World AIDS Day, we honor
those who have lost their lives to AIDS, we celebrate the remarkable
progress we have made in combating this disease, and we reaffirm our
ongoing commitment to end AIDS as a public health threat,” Trump
Trump praised the President's Emergency
Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a U.S. initiative to address HIV/AIDS
globally, primary in Africa, and pledged to continue to invest in
programs to reach people unaware of their their HIV status.
“Due to America’s leadership and
private sector philanthropy and innovation, we have saved and
improved millions of lives and shifted the HIV/AIDS epidemic from
crisis toward control,” Trump said. “We are proud to continue our
work with many partners, including governments, private-sector
companies, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions,
civil society and faith-based organizations, people living with HIV,
and many others.”
Trump failed to mention some of the
groups most affected by the epidemic: men who have sex with men and
transgender women. According to the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC), gay and bisexual men make up an estimated 70 percent of HIV
infections in the United States, while an estimated 22 percent of
transgender women are living with the virus.
Despite Trump's praise for programs
like PEPFAR, the president has proposed slashing $1 billion from such
programs in his 2018 budget proposal.