AIDS activists fought back during Trump’s first 100 days

Unlike Trump, we accomplished a lot in the last 100 days! Starting on Inauguration Day, SGAC and the grassroots network of our AIDS activist accomplices pushed a record 156 Representatives to sign a “Dear Colleague” letter demanding full funding for the global AIDS response, wrote 14 letters to the editor, and held 24 in-district meetings with Members of Congress.

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Setting Advocacy Priorities: PEPFAR Country Operational Plans 2017

(Originally published on MSMGF)

This week in Johannesburg, South Africa, MSMGF, Health GAP, and AVAC gathered 15 advocates from Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Uganda, Unites States, and Tanzania to prepare together to advocate for gay men and other men who have sex with men in their national HIV programs. This workshop came before U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Country and Regional Operational Plan review meetings where officials from 23 countries will review and finalize PEPFAR-supported programs that will be implemented next year.

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Trump Sends Chilling Proposal to Congress with Deadly Proposition -- Cap HIV Treatment Expansion Immediately

(Originally posted on

President Donald Trump included a chilling proposal last week in his request for the as yet unresolved 2017 federal budget:  slash funding for the wildly successful and bipartisan-backed President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by $300 million and "begin slowing the rate of new patients on treatment in FY 17." While many policymakers are dismissing the possibility that this proposed budget will pass through Congress, advocates nevertheless have every reason to be deeply concerned. This dangerous proposal is likely a harbinger of more grave harm to come. What could be a worse strategy for combatting the world’s leading infectious disease killer than slowing the expansion of treatment that not only saves lives but also prevents HIV transmission?

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We wouldn’t be here without ACT UP

Thirty years ago in the United States, an AIDS diagnosis was a death sentence. So little was known about the new disease that was hitting otherwise healthy people – primarily young, gay men – and even less was being done to end the epidemic. The institutional response was willfully negligent at worst and slow-moving at best. Something had to change.

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It’s up to Congress to protect millions of people living with HIV around the world

(Originally published on The Hill)

In 2003 I travelled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for the first time. Like most of the continent, Tanzania was staggering under the burden of a burgeoning AIDS epidemic. AIDS was still a death sentence.

I met women with HIV whose babies were born with HIV, even though drugs existed that could prevent this. Coffin makers dominated the markets and lined the streets. Virtually no one was receiving the life-saving antiretroviral drugs that had already transformed the AIDS crisis in the United States.

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