In his World AIDS Day statement,
president-elect Joe Biden recognized the impact HIV/AIDS has had on
the LGBT community.
“We will pursue bold solutions and
increase our collaboration with affected communities around the
globe,” Biden said. “We will redouble our efforts to tackle
health inequities that impact communities of color, LGBTQ+ people,
and other marginalized groups, including women and children.”
Biden's inclusion stands in contrast to
President Donald Trump's World AIDS Day proclamations and statements,
which do not recognize LGBT people as being disproportionately
affected by the pandemic.
(Related: In final World AIDS Day
statement, Trump again excludes LGBT people.)
Biden said that the coronavirus
pandemic had exacerbated the HIV/AIDS pandemic. COVID-19 serves as “a
reminder that we cannot let up in our efforts to fight other
epidemics,” he said.
While the finish line for a COVID-19
vaccine appears to be in sight, an HIV vaccine remains elusive nearly
four decades after the virus started infecting people. AIDS has
killed more than 35 million people since 1981.
Biden also said that he plans on
reinstating the Office of National AIDS Policy, a White House
position created during the Obama administration but never filled by
President Donald Trump.
“We will reinstate the Office of
National AIDS Policy, release a new comprehensive National Strategy
on HIV/AIDS and expand support for bipartisan programs like the U.S.
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global
Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria,” Biden said.
“Together, we will change the tide of rising infections, expand
treatment and support health security around the world.”