Trump hails deal with Gilead for PrEP donation as ‘great news’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump hailed on May 9 a deal with Gilead for the donation of PrEP for HIV prevention for the uninsured as “great news.”

Trump, who announced during his State of the Union address a plan to beat the HIV epidemic by 2030, took to Twitter to declare his pleasure the agreement with the drug manufacturer.

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Trump’s HHS secretary recognizes gays in HIV/AIDS speech

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar recognized on Dec. 11 the impact the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had on gay people and racial minorities in a speech in which he also named new co-chairs to fill longtime vacancies on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

In remarks at the Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment in Oxon Hill, Md., Azar made the reference to the impact of HIV/AIDS on the gay community when he urged his audience to combat the disease “not just as a biomedical issue, but as a social challenge, too.”

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Activists warn of hidden provision in insurance plans for HIV drugs

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Officials with organizations representing people with HIV and other chronic illnesses are urging patients who rely on drug manufacturers’ co-pay assistance contributions to help lower the cost of their prescription medication to be extra careful if they decide to select a new health insurance plan.

In a press conference on Wednesday, officials with the AIDS Institute, the Arthritis Foundation, and the National Organization for Rare Disorders warned that a growing number of insurers are refusing to allow co-payment assistance coupons provided by drug manufacturers from counting toward patients’ annual deductibles.

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Another Trump budget, another attempt to cut HIV/AIDS programs

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is promoting a Trump budget that makes HIV cuts. Photo by Gage Skidmore; courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

New year, new cuts to HIV/AIDS programs. President Trump’s proposed $4.4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2019 is most prominently characterized by soaring deficits, but also calls for varying degrees of cuts to HIV/AIDS programs reminiscent of his earlier request.

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Fate of HIV/AIDS council unclear after Trump terminations

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Weeks after the Trump administration fired all remaining members of the President’s Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS, the administration seems to be taking steps to refill those slots, but the ultimate fate of the body remains unclear.

In response to a question from the Washington Blade, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was non-committal when asked whether President Trump wants PACHA restaffed.

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Federal AIDS official indicted for soliciting minor

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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An official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who has been praised by AIDS activists for his role in administering the Ryan White AIDS CARE program, was indicted on Jan. 4 on a charge of sexual solicitation of a minor by a Montgomery County, Md., grand jury.

The indictment came just under two months after Montgomery County Police arrested Silver Spring resident Michael Goldrosen, 56, on Nov. 8 at the Twinbrook Metro station, where an undercover police officer posing as a 15-year-old male had arranged to meet him, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

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LGBT, HIV groups pan Trump’s executive order on health care

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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LGBT and HIV/AIDS groups are criticizing President Trump’s executive order on health care, asserting the measure endangers people with pre-existing conditions who could be left out in the cold.

Trump signed the executive order Thursday in the Oval Office in front of Vice President Pence, senior administration officials and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes Obamacare, but has threatened to vote “no” on legislative replacement plans.

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HIV/AIDS cuts in Trump budget called ‘shocking,’ ‘cruel’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Proponents of funding to combat HIV/AIDS continue to express alarm over cuts to federal programs, which in some cases are massive, in the budget proposal that President Trump unveiled last week amid questions of whether Congress will agree to the reductions.

Carl Schmid, deputy director of the AIDS Institute, said the decrease in funding for HIV/AIDS proposed in the Trump administration’s $4.1 trillion budget request was “pretty shocking” after years of bipartisan agreement to confront the disease.

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