November 30, 2018 / 10:55 PM GMT Vid Reynaldo Leanos, Jr. Vice-President Mike Pence's speech on Thursday held the 30th…
Vid Reynaldo Leanos, Jr.
Vice-President Mike Pence’s speech on Thursday held the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day quickly criticized – not for what he said, but for what he did not say.
In remarks at the White House, Pence did not mention the gay community, just as President Donald Trump did not mention it in his world aid today declared last year.
Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton mentioned the disproportionate impact of the disease on the LGBTQ community, while George W. Bush also not noted the relationship between gay people and HIV / AIDS in their official statements of the day.
988, World AIDS Day has been observed on December 1 to raise awareness about the disease and celebrate those who have died of it. Of the estimated 38,500 new HIV cases in the US annually, almost 70 percent are gay and bisexual men, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Scott Schoettes, who heads the LGBTQ advocacy group Lambda Legal’s HIV project, called Pence’s “It’s hard to see how to effectively address HIV in the United States without talking about the most affected population, “said Schoettes to NBC News.
Gabriel Arkles, a senior staff attorney at ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, said Pence’s speech Another example of Trump / Pence administration tries to ignore the existence of LGBTQ people. “
” This administration has repeatedly worked to undermine the protection of LGBTQ people in law and reduce funding to programs that ensure that LGBTQ people have access to healthcare and other critical needs, “Arkles said in an email. “We should admit that HIV affects millions of Americans of all sexual orientations and the sexes, but not by forgetting the communities most affected by it.”
The White House did not respond to NBC New’s request for comments.  While Pence did not mention the customs HIV and AIDS has taken on the LGBTQ community in the United States, he repeatedly mentioned the impact it has had on communities in Africa. He also mentioned Ryan White, a young boy from Pence’s home state, Indiana, who in 1984 arrived at AIDS after a blood transfusion.
“He left April 1990, just one month before he was ready to leave from high school,” said Pence. “And just a few months later, Congress in the United States passed the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act.”
While Pence promised the Ryan White Care Act under his speech – as he noted, “continues to provide vital medical services to over 1.1 million people ie the United States living with HIV “- he had a very different view on the legislation two decades ago when he ran to the convention.
On an archived version of the Pence 2000 Campaign Website, he said: “Congress should support the renegotiation of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of the review to ensure that federal dollars are no longer given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spread of the HIV virus. “
Pence added,” Resources should be aimed at those institutions that provide help to those who try to change their sexual behavior. “
This last sentence has been interpreted by some to indicate Pence’s support of so-called gay conversion therapy, something that Pence recently denied support.
While not mentioning the LGBTQ community, Pence said the word “believe” 27 times in his speech, according to a printout of his comments posted on the White House, we bsite and credited “faith-based organizations and faith communities” with the struggle against HIV / AIDS.
“Now the credits for this achievement are broadly divided, but faith-based organizations and religious groups like those represented here have played a prominent role,” said Pence. “And the leaders in this room have inspired countless others to lay hands and feet on their faith and give hope and heal to literally millions of people around the world who suffer from HIV / AIDS.”
Pence announced under his speech that the Trump administration would increase its funding to faith-based groups by one third.
“I am pleased to announce that our administration will invest $ 100 million in new resources to expand our commitment with faith-based organizations and troop groups at the front of the fight against HIV / AIDS,” said Pence.
Pence also announced that Trump will sign legislation that extends the President’s Emergency Assistance Emergency Plan, or PEPFAR, a bill originally signed by Bush 2003 for five years. The program has helped millions of people around the world, mainly in Africa.
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