In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Trump is expected to pledge a strategy to end HIV transmissions by 2030.
“I applaud the administration for its intention to work on a plan to end HIV transmissions by 2030,” says Duke University School of Law professor Carolyn McAllaster, who specializes in HIV policy and law.
“In order to accomplish this ambitious goal, the plan must include increased resources for the Centers for Disease and Prevention and community-based organizations, a strategy to ensure that every state expands Medicaid, and strong anti-discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act for all communities impacted by HIV.”
“With 51 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. South, targeting Southern states would be one part of an effective strategy. It would be especially important to target the Deep South states, which make up 44 percent of all new HIV diagnoses.”
“The South has a significant HIV epidemic in the rural areas and smaller cities so any plan must also include resources for areas outside the large urban centers. HIV-related stigma is particularly high in the South. A strategy to address the HIV epidemic must avoid further stigmatizing already marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ community and racial minorities.”
“The South has the highest number of uninsured and underinsured people, so access to care and treatment for people living with HIV is a big issue here. Most Southern states have failed to expand Medicaid, so a strategy to ensure that Medicaid is expanded is important.”
Carolyn McAllaster, a clinical professor at Duke University School of Law, specializes in HIV policy and law. She is the founder of Duke Law’s Health Justice Clinic, directs the HIV/AIDS Policy Clinic, and teaches a course on AIDS and the Law.