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When Will Mike Pence Stop Attempting to Ruin Lives?

Photo: Darron Cummings/AP Photo

Photo: Darron Cummings/AP Photo

It’s been quite the week for the 36 million people who are, unfortunately, living with HIV. It was recently discovered that there is a living patient who was completely cleared from the atrocious virus. He is a 44-year-old British man who’s “the first of 50 HIV-positive patients to complete the trial of treatment put together by scientists and doctors” according to Elite Daily.

Though these tests are still in their infancies, it gives hope for the future of HIV/AIDS research across the world. Of course, with all this excitement comes a lot of curiosity and strong desire for answers from different people across the globe, except not from the doctors and scientist who are working on the cure, but from our [American] leaders. They must have answers about what will be done here in the US to help people suffering from HIV.

With all good must come with a little bad, right? Take for example Donald Trump’s VP running-mate, Mike Pence, who clearly had a lot to say back in 2000 when he wrote a disheartening and prejudge-filled message on his website expressing desire to transfer HIV funding “toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” Is he referring to conversion therapy? Sounds a lot like conversion therapy to me.

Unsurprisingly, he’s signed bills, which allow business’ to deny service to gay people and attempted to cover it with “religious rights/freedom.” I want to believe that this is country who believes in “equality for all”, but apparently that deal only includes people who are religious and white. Voting for Donald Trump is already a horrible thing on it’s own, so thinking of who his partner is make this entire situation so much more grimace-worthy.

This situation is so tragic to me because it just shows how homophobia can truly affect the world. It’s not only an issue about being called a “faggot” in school (which is in FACT a valid issue); it’s entire groups of people trying to get held back from doing research – by getting their funds cut – to help others simply live. HIV/AIDS is not a gay disease, but because of the prominence it gay communities, it is treated as such.

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Fernando Reyes
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High-school teenager with interests in fashion, writing and film.

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