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If You Are HIV Positive and Voting for Mitt Romney ... Would You Like to Share Why?

A Video Blog

By Aaron Laxton

October 30, 2012

I do not know how anyone who is HIV positive could think about voting for Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney does not care about HIV or other pre-existing conditions and he does not care about you. With current laws, I am excluded from coverage of HIV as a pre-existing condition for one year. There are many others just like me and we must stand up and be heard.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: POZGAYVET (El Paso, Texax) Sun., Nov. 25, 2012 at 7:49 am UTC
I like the way you say "you don't have an agenda" then have all these liberal a$$ blog posts. Army Vet you claim? Obama has torn the military down taking away programs for service members and their families, or do you not care about your brother's at arms anymore? Bush did way more for the HIV community than Obama ever has. What has Obama done? This country sank, and will go even further into the toilet for the next 4 years now. Everyone who hasn't lost their real estate is hanging on to it by their finger nails now we have another 4 years of it. The Middle class has been crushed by taxes. Obama has no plans to do anything for us with HIV/AIDS. The only thing Obama will be famous for is that he's like 49% black and oh yeah has the best White House parties apparently. Pretty sad.
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Comment by: Charles (New Jersey) Mon., Nov. 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm UTC
I am a gay man and HIV positive and Romney is still the better choice than OBAMA. Remember OBAMA's helath care law was totally a brain child of the democrats....Not one Republican idea or concept was considered as part of OBAMA Care. Romney would keep the pre-existing clause of obama care....If the current pre-exisiting provision of OBAMA care excludes HIV then its a fault of the liberal democratic machine not the republicans and certainly not Mitt Romney. Remember the $550M bucks OBAMA wasted on Solyndra? That would pay for a boat load of HIV meds however the $550M was flushed down the liberal toilet....Anyone voting for OBAMA must be absolutley crazy regardless of whatever situation you are in....Obama is incompetent....
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Comment by: mike (Columbus,Ohio) Sat., Nov. 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm UTC
How stupid can you get? Aids is not political! Even if Mitt were to be President aids research and the disease itself would still be here. So don't keep telling lies to boot your agenda.
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Comment by: Mark J. (Guerneville, CA) Fri., Nov. 2, 2012 at 10:53 am UTC
I totally agree with your opinion. When Romney was governor of Massachusetts he cut HIV/AIDS funding by nearly 25%, and that was with a heavily Democratic legislature. With Republican majorities in both houses he would likely abolish Ryan White, which would mean we all would be paying retail for HIV medications and research into new and better medications would likely com to a halt. Even if you were a multimillionaire with HIV (a tiny percentage of the Poz community) you don't want medication research to stop. I don't trust Romney and neither do two of my hard-core Republican (and Mormon) cousins, either. The choice couldn't be clearer; Romney DEFINITELY sees us as that 47% that he doesn't care about.
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Comment by: Aaron Laxton (St. Louis ) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm UTC
Thank you for all your comments. When we start to voice our opinions, we truly experience democracy. The fact remains that HIV has fallen by the wayside for both parties. I am not saying that if you are positive that you should vote soley on that fact; my latest video states how I am voting as a veteran, as an HIV positive man and a gay male. I encourage each and every one of you to vote. Become part of the solution and let your voice be heard. Do your research and know why you are voting for a particular person.
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Comment by: P (Perth, Western Australia) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm UTC
Thank god I live in Australia where we have universal healthcare where no one is denied healthcare if they don't have sort of insurance. Strangely enough, we aren't a communist country and as a long term HIV'er, I am extremely grateful that our healthcare system gives a sh*t about those of us living with HIV....
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Comment by: Jimmy G. (NYC) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm UTC
I agree with you a million per cent, Romney is no good for people's rights, he only care about money and the rich, he does not give a S#$t about people with HIV or people with low economic resources, first thing he will do IF he becomes president will be to finish Obama care, Cobra plans and maybe he will even finish the ADAP program or any other programs that help people.
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Comment by: Ted F. (Denver) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm UTC
Your kidding me aren't you? Now that I'm positive I have to vote a certain way? What in the Sam Hell has Obama done for the AID's community. Other than suck up for votes. GW did more for world aids than this dude.

Nearly 500 Billion $ flushed down the toilet for foreign aid and a stimulus package that still has the Ryan White program underfunded. Geez
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Comment by: Adolfo C. (Deltona, Fl) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm UTC
Bravo! Great statement!
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Comment by: Francois (Montreal, Qc) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm UTC
This is not surprising coming from a party that's anti-abortion and pro war who will not lift a finger for someone with a pre-existing condition. Thank God I live in Canada.
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Comment by: Jeffrey (Denver) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm UTC
Aaron, I think your message is really an example of hate speech. You are trying to marginalize people who vote differently than you, and you are personally attacking Mr. Romney rather than his policies. Try respecting the diversity of the HIV community for a change. We are all not as closed-minded as you.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Charles (Macon, GA) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm UTC
How is it "hate speech" to call a duck a duck? The only position Romney has taken and been consistent with is giving tax breaks to multi-millionaires. The man won't release his tax returns when even his father did. The man not only hasn't answered a question from the press in weeks (including Fox "news") he actively avoids the press. How are we supposed to do more than make general assumptions about the person and his policies from past performance if he doesn't say or do anything?

Comment by: Buddy (San Diego) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm UTC
First to answer your question concerning as to "Why". I voted for Romney because of fiscal responbility not just for me personally but as a Nation as a whole. We need to live within our means. Second "Why" Obama? He just evolved this year to even support gay "marriage". He has cut funding to the very programs that support those of us living with HIV/AIDS. There will be futher cuts at the end of this year as well. Don't allow sites such as this to promote fear in those who are living with HIV/AIDS it's unfair and isn't right! I thought this sight was to promote a "postive" way of living for those of us battling this disease.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: JerryMc (LA, CA) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm UTC
Excellent point and totally agreee. I wish the gay community would educate themselves instead of taking people's word as fact. Google is your friend. The lap dog media has protected BO for way too long. As Samuel Jackson says, "Wake the F*** Up!" Time for BO to go!

Comment by: Jermi A. (Detroit, MI) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm UTC
I feel like this can be broken down into two sections. Before I get into them, let me say that I 110% agree with what you have said above. First off we have the machine called the pharmaceutical industry complex that is working and in bed with many members in government, along with many practicing doctors around the world. These individuals get kick-backs for providing us with these drugs. The entire industry needs to be redone. Second, the problem is not only that you can't get coverage with pre-existing HIV but can have insurance through a company, but you are still eligible, depending on your state, to get your needs met through the Ryan White Fund Program. If Mitt/Paul will, they have VOWED to get rid of that funding that will provide you, and is providing me, with the medications/treatments necessary to LIVE with HIV/AIDS. I have no idea how anyone could have HIV and vote for Mitt, but I'm sure they exist...scary and sad.

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Comment by: JerryMc (LA, CA) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm UTC
I was diagnosed 1987 & have been on both private ins. & MediCare. While on private ins.,as long as you had previous coverage,either medicare or private, the pre-existing cond. clause would not be enforced. This happened to me when I went back to work and got BCBS in 2003. I had to submit that I was on MediCare, then they covered me immediately with NO gap.
I had to go back on SS disability & in 2008 and get Medicare after my Cobra expired after 18 mos.
Under "ObamaCare" my co-pays have gone up and beginning this year Isentress is no longer covered. $2000/mo! I am on Isentress, Itellence,Norvir, & Prezista because I am now resistant to ALL other meds. Thank God for ADAP to cover the co-pays that the first part of "ObamaCare" had done away with.
Obama has cut 716 Billion from MediCare and people are STILL on ADAP waiting lists.
Did you know that President Bush funded the most for AIDs care and research? Ask Elton John or Youtube his statement regarding Bush and AIDs funding.
I am NO longer supporting the Obama regime, because he only panders gays for votes and I am now supporting President Romney and Paul Ryan!
And no, Romney doesn't hate gays and is NOT going to round us up into concentration camps! He is more liberal than you may believe.
Don't believe the propaganda media machine any longer.
Do your own research!
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: JoeP (New York, NY) Mon., Nov. 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm UTC
I second what you are saying JerryMc. Your story is quite similar to mine and we are on the same protocol.

Comment by: ohiopositive (Georgia) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm UTC
"I am not a doctor and I do not endorse any agenda other than simply living a healthy life"

Which is it? Not endorsing an agenda, or being pro Obama/anti Romeny? Not an Obama fan or a Romney fan for that matter, but don't think there should be campaigning on this kind site.

Romney did say he'd repeal Obamacare but keep the pre-existing condition part of the plan (among a few others portions. He also had nothing to do with any present laws. The pre-existing break has always been after being without insurance for, I think, 60days.
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Comment by: Scott (Nashville, TN) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm UTC
I suppose that if I were so selfish that HIV issues were all I cared about I would probably vote for Obama.
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Comment by: Lee (Louisiana) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm UTC
Don't blame anyone but the insurance company that denied you coverage. I have insurance and was HIV when I went with them and they covered and have covered all my bills from day one. I also have prescription coverage with them and they have paid for my medication from day one. Blame Blue Cross not Mitt Romney and Ryan.
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Comment by: Christopher Sale (Pasadena, Ca) Thu., Nov. 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm UTC
Well I have Aids and I'm voting for Romney. I'm also a Catholic brother who works with the homeless. The homeless population under Obama has tripled in Los Angeles.
I'm also opposed to gay marriage. Obama needs to go.
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Comment by: Anonymous Wed., Oct. 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm UTC
Take your pre-existing clause from ur insurance into ADAP; they will cover you until your insurance picks up. You have to show them the paper before you can get your meds.
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Comment by: David (Myrtle Beach, SC) Wed., Oct. 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm UTC
I agree, Mitt Romney cares noting about gay men and women and he will veto any legislation that tries to help HIV positive men and women. PLease go out and vote. Support a president that does care about those with HIV. THe polls are dead tight and Mr. Obama needs our support.
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Comment by: Everyone (Ca) Wed., Oct. 31, 2012 at 11:28 am UTC
Why vote for Romney?

It comes down to accepting the Historical Fact that as our society prospers economically we become more accepting and tolerant, and that economic prosperity spurs scientific as well as social growth. So while Obama might say he is for gay rights, wome's rights and others, his policies do not promote prosperity. Obama's policies have had a burdening effect on the free market, and creat an environment in which the entities of the free market: corporations, universities, health care providers are continuously squeezed; costs go up, regulations hamper, productivity goes down. An interesting example can be found in the statistic that student loan debt has tripled under the Obama administration. Because of this, those who might have made the decision to remain in the academic research field to study things like HIV may now be forced to make the decision to enter the private workforce in order to pay off their debt.

So while Obama may say he has your interest in his heart, his actions and policies may, in the long run create an environment that is worse than it was when he took office. While Romney may not speak to some of my personal issues, i know that economic growth would alleviate them much more than Obama has. My costs of eds is thousands of dollars a year, Obamacare did nothing to alleviate that, but if the economy grew under his administration, and my take home pay went up, those thousands would be less of a pinch.

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Comment by: Andrew Wed., Oct. 31, 2012 at 2:21 am UTC
ADAP can still cover you for the year until your full coverage kicks in. I was in your situation before...and it stressed me out at first but you can still be covered under ADAP for meds. Bloodwork, you might ask ur doctor for guidance on that. Or even talk to another Case Manager to see what ave's you can take. If you have to pay for bloodwork, change your visits to every 6 months and pay what you can. As a Case Manager, you will be able to be more proactive in locating resources than you were before (It takes time tho). BTW, Im voting for Mitt. My reason for that is nothing changed under Obama for my HIV care-the change pple looked for in Obama never happened. So why stay with something that didnt work. Honestly, a lot of Doctors are concerned that HIV funding will be cut if Obamacare takes place.
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Comment by: Ted (Louisville, KY) Wed., Oct. 31, 2012 at 1:31 am UTC
I will be voting for President Obama. Like you, I would be interested to hear why someone with HIV, or any health issue, would vote for Mitt. I still don't understand why gays vote republican.

I know a few poz folks, who are voting for Romney. None of these people make enough money to benefit from the Bush tax cuts, and Romney's proposed cuts. They can't fall back on the national defense/military reason. We've seen the two unfunded wars Bush got us into, with one being a complete war of choice.

The only thing I've figured out is that they have the view, like so many other repubs I know, that too many people are lazy and wanting to live off the system. That view, a mistaken belief, burns them up. I can try to rationalize why more people are on assistance, due to the economy almost going into another Great Depression. But, they won't hear of it.

Being gay or having HIV doesn't suddenly change them into rational people. They've held these beliefs for years. It's no different than how so many people vote against their own interests.

I will never understand it. Pre-existing condition clauses will go away in 2014 for adults. They already have for kids. No lifetime caps and so many other things. Republicans have not offered any alternative plan. So, they will try their best to get rid of health reform and keep the status quo. I've talked to many people on disability, who would like to return to work. However, it would mean giving up their healthcare. That is a very scary prospect. You shouldn't have to worry whether you can afford to see the doctor, or go to the ER, without getting hit with huge bills that will wreck your credit and bankrupt you, when they are ill. Many will put off seeing a doc, until they are very sick and it will cost so much more.
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Comment by: Benjamin (Biloxi, MS) Tue., Oct. 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm UTC
Honestly I don't like either, Mitt or Obama all they care about it the vote. With Obama care I will not be able to get my medications and with Mitt knowing him he will cut funding even more. The Idea is why would anybody vote for either they both lied and haven't done much but spoke words why not as the people find someone that will actually run the country without turning it into a communist one as it is turning out to be!
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Comment by: Mario (Indian Rocks Beach, FL) Tue., Oct. 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm UTC
Thank you for once again raising awareness. Although I thought I was very familiar with the pre-existing clause, for some reason I thought it applied to medications only. But now, I realize that the pre-existing condition clause also applies to HIV doctors and diagnostic testing related to HIV. For many people, HIV is only one facet of a complex medical condition, and in their case their whole medical insurance coverage would be useless in every aspect!
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My HIV Journey

Aaron Laxton

Aaron Laxton

I am simply a guy who on June 6, 2011, received the news that over 33 million people have received: I am HIV positive. I decided in that split moment to record the journey that I was embarking on so that I might help others as they receive that news.

I am not a doctor and I do not endorse any agenda other than simply living a healthy life. I am an activist and advocate and simply want to make the world a better place. I hold a degree in sociology and psychology. I am a product of the Missouri Foster System and this is one of my main passions, second only to the work I do with HIV/AIDS outreach and prevention.

I embrace a sex-positive model. People are going to have sex; it is a natural part of who we are. However we need to make sure that it is safe. I can be found on weekends throughout St. Louis, Missouri, passing out condoms and safe-sex kits.

I am now an M.S.W. student at Saint Louis University's College of Public Health and Social Justice and the School of Social Work.

Whether in St. Louis, D.C. or around the nation, I always jump at the chance to help change not only policies to better serve those that need help but to also change the landscape of the society that we live in.

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