Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado

Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado, speaks at a 2018 rally at the state Capitol. (Photo courtesy of One Colorado)

The state's largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Coloradans says World AIDS Day is around erasing the stigma and misunderstandings around the illness.

The commemoration is Sunday. World AIDS Day has been observed every year since 1988.

One Colorado executive director Daniel Ramos released a statement on Saturday.

“On World AIDS Day, we can look back at the powerful work that’s been done to suppress the HIV epidemic, which has claimed the lives of so many in our LGBTQ community," he said. "But we must also look ahead to the challenges we have yet to overcome. We need to erase the stigma and misinformation surrounding HIV and AIDS. We need to make preventative treatments like PrEP more affordable and accessible. We need to continue improving the medications and care offered to those who are currently living with HIV. Today, we honor the lives we have lost and stand firm in the fight to end the epidemic.”

The organization said more than 14,000 Coloradans are living with HIV.

With its statement, One Colorado noted that this year President Trump "made a bold commitment" in his State of the Union speech this year to reduce the incidence of HIV in the U.S. by 75% in five years and 90% by 2030.

Read the subsequent Trump administration plan, called "Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America,” by clicking here.

"This will be a ten year (sic) initiative beginning in FY 2020 to achieve the important goal of reducing new HIV infections to less than 3,000 per year by 2030," the Health Resources and Services Administration said in a prologue to the report. "Reducing new infections to this level would essentially mean that HIV transmissions would be rare and meet the definition of ending the epidemic."

Trump issued a proclamation on Wednesday commemorating World AIDS Day.

"On World AIDS Day, we are reminded that no challenge can defeat the unyielding American spirit. As a Nation, we must come together to remove the stigma surrounding HIV and to address disparities facing people living with this disease. Our success is contingent upon collaboration across all levels of government here in the United States and around the world, community interaction and outreach to people with HIV and at‑risk populations, and a citizenry motivated by compassion for the suffering of humankind and hope for the future."

Last month the Trump administration filed a lawsuit against the drugmaker Gilead Sciences over the drug Truvada, which is used in conjunction with the HIV prevention strategy called pre-exposure prophylaxis, over the company's use of government patents. Media reports say the drug costs about $1,750 a month, or about $21,100 a year.

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