Trump Is President Elect! Now What? Living with HIV
By: Valencia Beckley Hildreth
It’s been over a week since Election Day 2016; and while those who voted for Trump bask in the reality of his victory, new realities exist for those who did not vote for him or, for those who did not vote at all. A more detrimental reality exist for those living with HIV, affected by HIV, and for those in the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, and Queer (LGTBQ) community.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), we all know is a preventable and treatable. People living with HIV are experiencing full, successful and relatively healthy lives thanks to medication adherence, access to healthcare, prevention methods, and behavior modifications. However, with a new President starting in 2017, what will that mean for HIV initiatives and the HIV community? What about new HIV programs and medications? How will a new President impact access to healthcare? What about Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEp)? What is President Elect Trump’s plan to achieve goals previously established on a national level?
Let me enlighten you for a second on the fact only 3 electoral candidates chose to speak on how they would address HIV. Most importantly, when it came to the final two candidates, Senator Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, guess who was tight lipped and opted out of sharing how they would govern issues regarding those living with HIV or those affected by HIV???? You guessed it! Trump opted out… hands down. However, to be fair and not solely call Trump out for not sharing his perspective on this topic, according to Gay Men Health Crisis (http://www.gmhc.org) not a single Republican candidate chose to respond to a presidential survey on HIV and AIDS initiated by Gay Men Health Crisis (GMHC). However, Senator Hillary Clinton responded favorably to address HIV by expanding future investment strategies and access to medication with the goal of HIV prevention.
But let’s get back to reality. Trump is President Elect and unless we all are having the same dream, and have yet to awaken, or we are all watching a new Trump reality TV show name “So You Think You Can Be President” Trump will succeed President Obama in office this coming January 2017. Perhaps, Trump with his strong and opinionated personality will take more than a moment to review the National Initiative for HIV and AIDS. Or maybe, he will assign someone who has compassion to oversee this initiative to make recommendations that will take those living with HIV/AIDS and those in the LGTBQ community forward and not backwards while he strives to “Make America Great Again”. It is all up in the air at this point. Discovering his perspective will be rather interesting to say the least.
However, the question still remains …Trump Is President Elect! Now What???
Valencia Beckley Hildreth, MS, BSN, RN
Valencia lives in the Metropolitan Atlanta area with her husband and their two “fur baby” girls. She has dedicated her career to public health and research around those living with HIV. She is presently a Doctoral Candidate and works full-time in Public Health as a nursing leader. In her spare time she enjoys meditation, writing, and spending time with family and friends.