Successful Implementation Will Require Leadership, Resources
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – today praised the release of the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States as a positive step forward in the fight against HIV and AIDS nationwide, but called on the administration and Congress to provide the leadership and resources necessary to implement this important plan. The ambitious plan aims to reduce new infections – setting a benchmark of a 25% decrease by 2015 – as well as increase access to care, reduce HIV-related health disparities, and better coordinate the national response to the epidemic. Importantly, the Strategy notes that the resources needed to fight HIV and AIDS have not historically been directed to communities most in need – including gay and bisexual men, as well as transgender people – and that the number of new infections nationwide cannot be reduced without a focus on the epidemic in the LGBT community.
“President Obama has put forward a bold and historic framework for addressing HIV and AIDS in the United States. The Strategy importantly acknowledges the continued impact HIV/AIDS has on LGBT people, as well as the failure to put adequate attention and resources toward addressing the epidemic in our community. But the goals and timetables laid out in this document cannot and will not be achieved without strong leadership and robust resources,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “All of us – including the administration and Congress, state governments, service providers and advocates – must commit to ensuring that the bold vision of this plan is fulfilled, and ‘[t]he United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.’”