Trump vows to end AIDS within 10 years

Trump vows to end AIDS within 10 years
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE announced a goal to eradicate AIDS in the United States within the next 10 years, using his State of the Union address to set a timeline for ending the disease.

"My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years," Trump said. “Together, we will defeat AIDS in America.”

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 million Americans are living with HIV, and there are 40,000 new infections every year.

“In recent years we have made remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” Trump said. “Scientific breakthroughs have brought a once-distant dream within reach.”

Still, some of Trump’s moves over the past two years have been criticized by advocates.

The administration fired members of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS in late 2017, and new co-chairs weren’t sworn in until last month.

The rest of the council is still vacant.

Trump has also not appointed a director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, which was formed under former President Clinton.

His administration has also asked for cuts to domestic and global HIV/AIDs programs in previous budgets.

Trump's proposal would increase access to medications for people living with HIV, and focus prevention efforts in communities with the highest rates of HIV.

“While we might have policy differences with the President and his Administration, this initiative, if properly implemented and resourced, can go down in history as one of the most significant achievements of his Presidency,” said AIDS Institute Executive Director Michael Ruppal.