As if enough trash isn’t already polluting our oceans, Donald Trump Jr. decided to open his Twitter app to add more to the pile. Like father, like son.
Yesterday, the Jr. responded to an old tweet from the LGBTQ+ outlet Queerty where they posted a story titled“What you stand to lose by not having sex with people with HIV.”
“Well I can think of one thing,” he wrote in a quote tweet. The original post was made on November 17.
While Trump did not expand on the tweet, many took it to infer something stigmatizing about people living with HIV.
The article, written by Queerty editor David Hudson, discusses that exact stigma and type of misinformation surrounding those who are living with HIV.
“If someone is HIV positive, knows their status, is on effective medication and has consistently had an undetectable viral load, they cannot pass on the virus,” Hudson wrote. “PrEP is also widely available in the US and several other countries to prevent people from acquiring HIV. And condoms are also, of course, widely available.”
Antiretroviral therapy can make it hard for the virus to make copies of itself and spread throughout the body which can bring the viral load to such low levels that blood tests cannot detect it. Once the viral load is down to an undetectable level, overwhelming research shows there is no risk of transmitting it to someone else. Undetectable = Untransmittable. PrEP, short for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” and condoms also reduce the possibility of HIV infection.
People on Twitter criticized Trump Jr. for reinforcing HIV stigma and spreading misinformation.
“When the world has come so far in combating stigma around HIV - and it now impossible to pass on HIV when one is on treatment - this comment is stunningly retrograde and dangerous,” Independent editor Olivia Alabaster tweeted.
Jason Rosenberg, an HIV activist, called Trump Jr. out for tweeting dangerous stigma days ahead of World AIDS Day. “You pile of stale shit. Tweeting anti-science stigma flared nonsense just DAYS before World AIDS Day. I truly think there’s a special place in hell waiting for you,” he wrote.
World AIDS Day #WAD2019 is on December 1. The theme for the 2019 observance is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community”. Since 1988 the day has been dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died.