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Trump’s Gag Rule Would Threaten Access to Health Care for More than 800,000 Black People

New York, NY — During last night's  State of the Union, Trump called on Congress to help end HIV transmissions in 10  years — a hollow promise that follows two years of attacks on health care access — including access for people living with, or at-risk for, HIV — and undermining the efforts of HIV prevention and treatment, sex education programs, and health care organizations. In fact, right now the Trump-Pence administration is simultaneously dismantling  a program designed to provide care for those he feigns goodwill. Title X is on the line; it is a critically important national program that offers affordable reproductive health care to the more than four million people who face the greatest barriers to accessing health services — including HIV prevention, testing, and treatment — along with birth control, breast and cervical cancer screening, and other STI prevention, testing, and treatment.

On the eve of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Trump is claiming to join the work of advocates to address the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on Black communities.  Yet the impending gag rule he would place on Title X leaves  more than 800,000 Black people who rely on  the Title X program with no access to lifesaving HIV health services. Planned Parenthood Federation of America will continue to work with our partners to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, address stigma, fight Trump’s gag rule, and support  Black community leaders to provide care for people living with AIDS.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

While the U.S. has made progress toward greater health care equity, HIV/AIDS remains an urgent public health crisis, disproportionately affecting Black women and men, trans people, young people, and men who have sex with men. We know what works. To eradicate HIV, we must: protect access to the full range of reproductive health care; repeal the Global Gag Rule; protect Title X; ensure affordable prevention, testing, and treatment for all; and fight stigma by treating all people with dignity and compassion.

“As one of nation’s leading HIV testing providers, Planned Parenthood is proud to offer our patients comprehensive, nonjudgmental HIV prevention services. In 2017, Planned Parenthood health centers administered more than 740,000 HIV tests. We are proud to offer PrEP, a pill taken daily that helps reduce the threat of transmission among people at high risk of HIV, in more than 400 health centers in 44 states. Trump’s proposed gag rule could leave communities without access to HIV prevention tools and lifesaving treatments. President Trump’s stated commitment must be based on medicine and science — a complete departure from his actions thus far.

Planned Parenthood is an important resource to Black communities across the country for comprehensive HIV prevention, testing, and linkages to care.

  • All Planned Parenthood health centers provide easy, quick, and confidential HIV tests. Early treatment can help prevent serious, lifelong health problems, but you can’t get treatment if you don’t know your status. And the only way to know your status is to get tested.

  • In 2017, Planned Parenthood, began a new program to expand the integration of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)  — a daily pill that can help reduce transmission for people who are at high risk for HIV — into our comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts. Now, more than 400 Planned Parenthood health centers in 44 states offer PrEP. This work was carried out in partnership with The Black AIDS Institute, a national organization working to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black communities, by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals.

  • Many Planned Parenthood health centers also offer post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) — a series of pills that, if taken within 72 hours of being exposed to HIV, can lower your chances of getting it.

  • All Planned Parenthood health centers can link people living with HIV or AIDS to treatment options so they can get the care they need.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

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