AIDS United CEO responds to Biden win

Calls for bipartisan effort to end the HIV epidemic

WASHINGTON — Jesse Milan Jr., president and CEO of AIDS United, issued the following statement following multiple news outlets’ projections that Vice President Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States:

“This was truly an election for the history books. Voters turned out in record numbers in the midst of a pandemic, and we must listen to their voices. Any effort to undermine the voting process is a threat to our democracy and our country’s commitment to a government of, by and for the people.

“While there are still more votes to count, it appears that Joe Biden has secured enough votes in the Electoral College to win the presidency. His winning is the clear will of the majority of American voters. We are looking forward to working with the incoming Biden administration to continue the momentum toward ending the HIV epidemic in the United States.

“As I watched results flow in since Tuesday, I have been incredibly struck by just how divided this country is. We have much healing and coalition building to do. Ending the HIV epidemic is a bipartisan effort, and I encourage the incoming Biden administration to focus on it as a way of building support across party lines.

“With bipartisan support, ending the HIV epidemic is achievable. Biden’s proposed goal of ending the epidemic by 2025 is doable and would be a huge win for both his presidency and for people living with and vulnerable to HIV. We know which treatment, prevention and stigma-reducing strategies are needed to end the HIV epidemic. What we need under any administration — Democratic or Republican — is the political will to implement them. President-elect Biden has much to build on for that goal.

“President Obama launched the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy, a groundbreaking, comprehensive approach to marshal all the tools of the federal government toward ending the HIV epidemic. The Affordable Care Act created under President Obama has expanded access to care. President Trump created the Ending the HIV Epidemic program, which adopted many of the recommendations put forward by AIDS United and the ACT NOW: END AIDS Coalition in our community-driven road map to ending the HIV epidemic.

“Biden could easily build upon this momentum and end the HIV epidemic by 2025. And all of us at AIDS United stand ready to help achieve that laudable and historic goal.”