Vice President Pence lied to and disrespected the struggling HIV+ communities in addressing World AIDS Day. He couldn’t even utter the word “gay” as he lied about how much the administration is doing to combat the still there, epidemic. He neglected to mention how the administration gutted the AIDS council in DC, how much needed Ryan White funds were diverted to screw over immigrants and asylum seekers at the border. He neglected to mention how when he was a governor, he wanted the monies given to his state to be used for the dangerous reparative therapies on people struggling with their sexuality.

But he DID mention how a lot of money will be diverted to “faith based” groups to combat the epidemic. So instead of scientific methods in prevention, we get Jesus, prayer, and questioning why people with HIV/AIDS weren’t abstinent and Christian. The only way I can see around this, is if the progressive-open and affirming congregations in Portland input HIV programs into their charities. The only religious based group in Portland that helps, his the Ecumenical Minisitries’ HIV Day Center.

Please consider donating to the HIV Day Center non profit tomorrow. Cascade AIDS Project does their share but they’re not hurting for money like the Day Center is. They’re a large non-profit that doesn’t do the type of work that the DC does. The DC provides: clothes, acupuncture, hot meals, showers, haircuts, bus passes, art therapy, job resources, and dozens of other means of help to their clients, many of them homeless and also struggling with mental health and addiction issues. As a person who has volunteered for decades in the HIV community, I’ve seen the good they do. But with this administration, many clients are scared for their well-being.