In my role as Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention & Health Equity, I was excited and honored to attend this meeting. Ever since joining HRC three years ago, I have worked with my colleagues to educate LGBTQ people and allies about the current realities of HIV through a number of new programs and projects.
Joined by top campaign advisers John Podesta and Maya Harris, Secretary Clinton sat down with us for over an hour, talking through the ins and outs of HIV and health policy with humor, grace and compassion. Not only did she make clear that ending the HIV epidemic would be a top priority in a Clinton Administration, but she also made several commitments, such as improving the Affordable Care Act, expanding access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, preserving discretionary programs like the Ryan White HIV and AIDS Program and taking part in a national, anti-stigma campaign. The meeting was humbling and inspiring.
Toward the end of the meeting, Secretary Clinton expressed that people living with and affected by HIV have been the catalyst for much of the progress we've enjoyed over the past 35 years, and that we're the ones who will help bring this epidemic to a close once and for all. I agree with long-time AIDS activist Peter Staley who said it's the job of the people to hold our elected officials accountable.
As a young, Black gay man who has seen far too many of his friends contract HIV in the past few years, I am proud to be a part of this change.
HRC is committed to working with our allies, partners, members, and supporters to end the HIV epidemic and the stigma surrounding HIV. For more about our work, click here.