THIS YEAR Tom Wolf responded to a questionnaire circulated by dozens of HIV/AIDS care and policy groups from across the Commonwealth. Governor Corbett did not respond.

Wolf’s responses show that he’s well on his way to supporting the smart policies that will end the epidemic. And there’s good company for taking the next step and pledging to end AIDS by 2020: New York Governor Cuomo has pledged to end AIDS by 2020; NIH Institute Director Dr. Anthony Fauci says we can end the epidemic within a decade worldwide; Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Obama call for an AIDS-Free Generation, and Secretary John Kerry pledged recently to support achieving undetectable viral load for 90% of the people with HIV in the world--by 2020. If New York — with an even bigger epidemic than PA — can end AIDS by 2020, we urge Candidate Wolf to make the same pledge, and demonstrate that he takes the lives and health of GLBT voters and people with HIV seriously. Wolf’s pledge will show he does not take LGBT voters or 30,000 people with HIV across the Commonwealth for granted.

Governor Corbett, meanwhile, has adopted numerous policies that hurt people with HIV and LGBT voters statewide, including cuts to General Assistance, cuts to needed HIV prevention programs, and comparing gay marriage to incest. Let the door hit you on your way out, and please don’t stay in touch. 

You can read Tom Wolf's full questionnaire here. Below is our summary of his responses.

If you are elected, will you ensure that HIV positive Pennsylvanians have access to nutrition and housing through:

Restoring General Assistance?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Restoring Governor Corbett’s cuts to food assistance and providing additional SNAP benefits to alleviate federal cuts?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Increasing the state's commitment to the State Affordable Housing Trust Fund. How will you do this?

W: Maybe: “I will investigate options to improve access to affordable housing and explore the possibility of increasing the funding and scope of coverage for the Housing Trust Fund”

C: No Response

Allowing supportive housing services such as drug and alcohol treatment, housing counseling, and social work to be paid for through Medicaid reimbursement?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Creating housing first policies that provide housing for individuals regardless of mental health status or drug or alcohol addiction?

W: Maybe: “I will work with local governments and other key stakeholders to explore ways to make housing affordable and accessible to all residents.”

C: No Response

Will you ensure every Pennsylvanian has access to HIV prevention, through:

Expanding Medicaid without punitive measures for people who miss premiums (e.g. people should not lose coverage for 3 months if they miss a single payment)?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Implementing the Affordable Care Act’s coverage of routine opt-out HIV screening at every medical visit, in a way that respects the human right to privacy?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Restoring Corbett’s cuts to HIV prevention that amounted to 40% cuts in Philadelphia over three years?

W: Restoring Corbett’s cuts to HIV prevention that amounted to 40% cuts in Philadelphia over three years?    Maybe: “I will work hard to ensure that HIV prevention and treatment programs are appropriately funded so that we can stop the spread of this disease and finally achieve an AIDS-free generation.”

C: No Response

Ensuring that HIV-outreach efforts fight stigma in those communities most affected, including the LGBTQ community, women, people of color, and injection drug users?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Will you ensure that treatment and prevention materials are available in Spanish and French?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Ensuring that condoms are available to people in state prisons and jails?

W: Maybe: “I will instruct my Secretary of the Department of Corrections to investigate these issues, including the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and recommend commonsense policy solutions.”

C: No Response

Will you ensure every Pennsylvanian has access to HIV treatment at the time of diagnosis, through:

Continuing to support Pennsylvania’s model Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Ensuring continued support for Medical Case Management service, which removes barriers to care for people living with HIV/AIDS?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Will you support harm reduction through:

Ensuring that first responders carry naloxone (medicine that reverses the effects of overdose) and are trained in its use?

W: Yes

C: No Response

Exploring legal options to ensure that state public health funds can support syringe exchanges?

W: Yes

C: No Response

 

Posted
AuthorKaytee Riek