San Francisco, May 9, 2012 — Today President Obama made history by declaring his support of same-sex marriage, becoming the first sitting president to take such a position, and moving the nation closer to creating the AIDS-free generation he so boldly envisions.
“The president’s actions are not only important to matters of justice and equality, they are also vitally important to our work in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “When people feel affirmed, respected, and valued, they are more likely to take better care of themselves and their health—they get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, they talk openly with their sex partners, and they seek out information and resources.”
There are currently 1.2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and approximately 50,000 new HIV infections occur nationwide every year. The epidemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on gay and bisexual men, and racial and ethnic minorities.
“HIV has always thrived in marginalized communities, whether it’s gay and bisexual men, people of color, the homeless, or those living in poverty,” said Giuliano. “Anything we can do to bring people in from the margins, as the president did today by advocating for same-sex marriage, represents a dramatic step forward in our efforts to end HIV/AIDS.”
San Francisco AIDS Foundation looks forward to continuing to work with the Obama Administration on other issues important to the fight against HIV/AIDS, including careful implementation of the Affordable Care Act and HIV service integration to address the health care needs of all people living with HIV.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable.