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Candidate Positions on HIV/AIDS
To better understand how presidential candidates will take advantage of the next four years to seek an end to the HIV epidemic, a coalition of more than 50 organizations sent a survey to all Democratic and Republican candidates who were running for president in the Spring. Of the two candidates selected by the Democratic and Republican parties at their conventions in July, Ms. Clinton filled out the candidate survey during her primary race. The coalition has not received a response from Mr. Trump. Ms. Clinton’s answers to the survey, published without edits, can be found here.

AIDS United renewed the survey request to Mr. Trump. His answers to the survey will be published without edits when they are received.

Other Resources on Candidates’ Positions on HIV/AIDS Issues

AIDS United has also sought to identify the candidates’ position on HIV based on recent statements compiled from various sources. AIDS United has researched a number of terms* designed to elicit an understanding of the candidates’ views on HIV/AIDS from the following resources: stump speeches including the candidates’ speeches accepting their party’s nomination for president, newspaper articles, campaign literature, and the candidates’ website.

Hillary Clinton

A search of Ms. Clinton’s campaign speeches including her speech at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) produced no additional specific HIV or AIDS mentions, although there is usually a strong focus on health care in her speeches:

    • Democratic National Convention Acceptance Speech, 7/28/16: Ms. Clinton did not specifically mention HIV or AIDS. She supported the Affordable Care Act stating that 20 million more people had health insurance from the time that the Obama administration came into office.
    • Warren, MI Speech, 8/11/16: This speech is a relatively typical example of Ms. Clinton’s campaign speeches. It does not specifically mention HIV or AIDS but does note that she “will defend and improve the Affordable Care Act.”

    A search of Ms. Clinton’s website and campaign literature produced an issues page specifically on HIV/AIDS issues. There is additionally a page specifically devoted to health care issues. The pages can be found here:

    • HillaryClinton.com - Fighting HIV/AIDSMs. Clinton states that she will work to fully implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy; invest in research to end HIV and AIDS; cap out-of-pocket expenses for people living with HIV and AIDS; expand utilization of HIV prevention medications; fight to extend Medicaid coverage to provide care to people living with HIV; reform outdated HIV criminalization laws and increase the number of people on HIV treatment worldwide.
    • HillaryClinton.com - Health Care: Ms. Clinton states that she will defend and expand the Affordable Care Act, bring down out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles, reduce the cost of prescription drugs, incentivize states to expand Medicaid, expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status, expand affordable health care access to rural Americans, defend access to reproductive health care and double funding for community health centers, and support the health care workforce.

    AIDS United also conducted a search of newspaper articles on the Internet. We did this by using the “news” function to bring up articles in major national newspapers, as well as local articles in places in which Ms. Clinton is campaigning. We also searched all websites on the Internet. Apart from speeches noted above this search produced information specifically regarding Ms. Clinton’s controversial statement stating that First Lady Nancy Reagan had “started a conversation related to AIDS” which Ms. Clinton then renounced and apologized for. More recently articles have examined Ms. Clinton’s relationship to the Clinton Foundation which specifically seeks to eliminate HIV/AIDS. Few articles detailed positions or issues related to HIV that go beyond the statements found in her speeches or in campaign materials. Sample articles related to these issues include:


    Donald Trump

    A search of Mr. Trump’s campaign speeches including his speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC) produced no specific HIV or AIDS mentions although he focuses on health care, usually through opposition to the Affordable Care Act:

    • Republican National Convention Acceptance Speech, 7/21/16Mr. Trump did not specifically mention HIV or AIDS. He supported repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act stating that voters would “be able to choose your own doctor again.”
    • Fredericksburg, VA Speech, 8/20/16This speech is a relatively typical example of Mr. Trump’s campaign speeches. It does not specifically mention HIV or AIDS but does state that he will focus on improving health care specifically related to veterans by allowing veterans choices to go to a VA facility, or to go to a private doctor or medical clinic.  

     A search of Mr. Trump’s campaign literature including a search of Mr. Trump’s website produced no information relative to HIV/AIDS, however it did produce a page on health care reform. The website can be found here:

    • DonaldJTrump.com - Health Care ReformMr. Trump states that he will repeal Obamacare, modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines, allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from tax returns, allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), require price transparency from all healthcare providers, block-grant Medicaid to the states and remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products.

     AIDS United also conducted a search of newspaper articles on the Internet. We did this by using the “news” function to bring up articles in major national newspapers, as well as local articles in places in which Mr. Trump is campaigning. We also searched all websites on the Internet. Although this search produced a number of blogs and opinion pieces apart from news sources, the only specific statement by the candidate or his campaign about policy on HIV/AIDS condemned Turing pharmaceuticals for raising the price of drugs for people living with HIV to an exorbitant level. Otherwise, there appears to be no discussion of HIV/AIDS from the campaign.


    Conclusion

    AIDS United will continue to research statements and public records regarding the Democratic and Republican candidates’ positions on HIV/AIDS and will seek to update this page with any changes.

    The review of the candidates’ positions related to HIV/AIDS does not include a review of the Democratic and Republican candidates for vice-president.

    AIDS United is a non-profit organization and does not endorse candidates.


    * The following terms related to issues of importance to the HIV community were searched on each of the resources listed above: ACA; Affordable Care Act; AIDS; cure; drugs; health; healthcare; “health care;” HIV; HIV/AIDS; “Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS;” HOPWA; insurance; insured; medication assisted treatment; naloxone; “National HIV/AIDS Strategy;” NHAS; needle; Obamacare; “Office of National AIDS Policy; “ ONAP; opiate; opioid; research; “Ryan White;” “Ryan White Program;” syringe; stigma; uninsured; vaccine. For general news and internet searches, the terms were searched relative to the names of the candidates.




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