AIDS Vote 2014 Platform: Ending the Domestic AIDS Epidemic
C2EA’s AIDSVote 2014 Platform is consistent with our five guiding principles regarding HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, research, housing and respect for people living with HIV/AIDS – principles which, with the political will, we believe will end the AIDS epidemic. Although the National HIV/AIDS Strategy was an important initial step, it must be revised to be fully comprehensive, and we are fast approaching a 2015 without reaching its modest goals. The C2EA AIDSVote 2014 Platform below speaks to where our elected officials can and must now devote financial resources and political capital in order to end AIDS in the United States.
There have been three big developments in the past two-and-a-half years that create unprecedented prevention opportunities to curb and, ultimately, end the epidemic. In summer of 2011, the HIV Prevention Trials Network published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that starting antiretroviral therapy early and staying adherent reduced transmission by 96%. The term “treatment as prevention” is now commonplace. Fast-forward to summer 2012, in quick succession (late-June and mid-July), the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) was deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court – allowing for Medicaid expansion and cheaper private health insurance – and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Truvada for preventing transmission as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or “PrEP.” There have since been numerous studies showing results for how PrEP works among different populations.
In 2014, there is much to hold our elected officials accountable for…
**Condoms, sterile syringes, treatment as prevention, PrEP, stable housing, access to health insurance, food security, and more — we know how to care for our communities.
**Decades of research and continuing advances in prevention and treatment interventions show we can halt the pandemic. However, each state’s elected officials must develop a plan addressing their constituents’ unique needs.
**We must also end violence against, and ensure the rights of, LGBT people, women, youth, people of color, and members of other marginalized communities.
But these issues don’t fill campaign coffers, so we don’t get the funding needed to end AIDS – even though it would save money as well as suffering. *We demand better.*
C2EA AIDSVote 2014 Platform
As the 2014 midterm elections approach, C2EA has prioritized and encourages leaders of every party to support the following six critical policy areas for our community:
1.) STATE-BASED HIV/AIDS STRATEGIES to End HIV/AIDS – Commit to proactively developing, in partnership with community/faith-based organizations and people living with HIV/AIDS, comprehensive, collaborative, and coordinated state-specific strategies to end the epidemic.
2.) AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IMPLEMENTATION – Support state enrollment efforts; facilitate effective coordination with the Ryan White Program; expand Medicaid in every state.
3.) FULL FUNDING – Advocate for full funding addressing the following budgets: 1) Treatment: Ryan White Care Act; 2) Research (for vaccines, a cure, and improved treatment (including hepatitis C treatment) and prevention): NIH; 3) Prevention: CDC (National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention), SAMHSA, and 4) Housing: HOPWA.
4.) HOUSING – In addition to HOPWA funding referenced above, 1) Support an updated revision to the HOPWA funding formula to accurately reflect the epidemic; 2) Pass H.R.2599: JUSTICE Act to ensure post-incarceration housing for returning citizens and those diagnosed with any STI.
5.) EFFECTIVE DRUG POLICY – Lift the federal funding ban on syringe services programs, and protect harm reduction programming, to eliminate new HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C infections among injection drug users. End laws that criminalize people who use drugs, especially nonviolent offenders.
6.) HUMAN RIGHTS – Commit to end discriminatory laws limiting access to prevention and care for affected communities, including: 1) Pass S.1790 / H.R.1843: REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act of 2013 – to modernize punitive laws that discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS (“HIV criminalization” statutes); 2) Pass H.R.2599: JUSTICE Act/H.R.895: Stop AIDS in Prison Act of 2013 – to reduce the spread of STIs in prison, and to provide an effective HIV/AIDS program in prisons (respectively); and 3) Lift the federal funding ban on syringe services programs.
Regarding the Global Epidemic
Whereas this platform addresses the epidemic in the US, it is important that we also pay attention to the global epidemic if we really are to achieve our goal. This year’s particular focus includes:
• Fully funding PEPFAR and the GLOBAL FUND through the Congressional appropriations process, and
• Supporting UNAIDS’ call and strategy to end HIV/AIDS globally by 2030
The C2EA AIDSVote 2014 Candidate Questionnaire is a valuable, non-partisan tool for learning what positions state, national, and Presidential candidates take on the HIV/AIDS issues addressed in the current platform above. Questionnaire responses are used by C2EA members, allies, partners, and supporters to evaluate candidates’ positions and facilitate informed voting for constituents prioritizing these issues come November.