HIV and AIDS
Note: This page is a reproduction of the Hillary for America policy proposal on HIV and AIDS.
The AIDS crisis in America began as a quiet, deadly epidemic—and because of discrimination and disregard, it remained that way for far too long. When many in positions of power turned a blind eye, activists, advocates, scientists, and ordinary, heroic people fought with courage and compassion for a national commitment to address the disease. Due to their efforts, the United States has made great progress in the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS.
But we still have work to do. HIV and AIDS continue to disproportionately impact communities of color, transgender people, young people and gay and bisexual men. There are still 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States today, with about 50,000 people newly diagnosed each year.
We have reached a critical moment in this fight.
Hillary will continue to fight towards the goal of an AIDS-free generation. As president, she will:
- Work to fully implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy provides an important roadmap in our march towards an AIDS-free generation. As president, Hillary will continue to implement this strategy and ensure a wide range of advocates and stakeholders are advising the Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy on execution.
- Invest in research to end HIV and AIDS. The AIDS crisis looks very different now than it did 20 years ago. Our nation’s commitment to scientific research means that most people diagnosed with HIV today can live long lives with consistent treatment. Researchers at NIH and elsewhere are poised to make even more progress towards developing long-acting treatments and a cure for HIV. Hillary will support robust investments to ensure this progress continues, and she will protect funding for this vital scientific research.
- Cap out-of-pocket expenses for people living with HIV and AIDS. It is unacceptable that a pharmaceutical company can raise the price of medicine for HIV and AIDS patients by more than 5,000 percent. Hillary has a plan to hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable and lower the cost of prescription drugs for Americans, including medications that help to prevent and treat HIV. She’ll cap monthly and annual out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs at $250 and empower Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. She will also end subsidies drug companies get for direct-to-consumer advertising and instead invest that money in research.
- Expand utilization of HIV prevention medications, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP and other medications have proved effective in preventing HIV infections and should be accessible to everyone. Hillary will increase CDC investment to increase knowledge about and uptake of PrEP to ensure populations at greatest risk of infection have access to the drug—particularly transgender individuals and black men who have sex with men (MSM).
- Fight to extend Medicaid coverage to provide life-saving health care to people living with HIV. Of the 70,000 people living with HIV who were uninsured before the Affordable Care Act, roughly 47,000 should have been newly eligible for Medicaid. However, the refusal of some states to expand Medicaid coverage has left many ineligible. Hillary will fight until every state expands Medicaid coverage.
- Reform outdated, stigmatizing HIV criminalization laws. Hillary will work with advocates, HIV and AIDS organizations, Congress, and others to review and reform outdated and stigmatizing federal HIV criminalization laws—and will call on states to do the same. She will continue to aggressively enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights laws to fight HIV-related discrimination.
- Increase the number of people on HIV treatment worldwide. Programs like PEPFAR have made a significant impact on our fight against HIV and AIDS. These efforts have created the framework for progress and enjoyed bipartisan support here at home and broad support around the world. As president, Hillary will increase global funding for HIV and AIDS treatment and prevention.
Hillary has fought for decades to combat HIV and AIDS—and the stigma and pain that accompany it:
- As first lady, Hillary brought together global leaders to strategize and coordinate efforts to take on HIV and AIDS. She advocated for increased funding for U.S. prevention and research efforts—especially for pediatric AIDS—and honored scientists committed to AIDS research.
- In the U.S. Senate, Hillary put forward legislation to expand global AIDS research and assistance and to increase prevention and education. She voted for the creation of PEPFAR and to defend and protect the Ryan White Act. Hillary also voted to increase funding to combat HIV and AIDS. She co-sponsored legislation to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income people with HIV and expand resources for HIV testing and education.
- As secretary of state, Hillary launched a campaign to usher in an AIDS-free generation through prevention and treatment—targeting the populations at greatest risk of contracting HIV. Under her leadership, American aid directly supporting people on antiretroviral treatment increased over 200 percent to reach over 6.7 million men, women, and children around the world. She oversaw the repeal of the HIV travel ban, which prevented people with HIV and AIDS from entering the United States, and led efforts to end mother-to-child transmission.