For the first time in 12 years, a person living with HIV addressed a major political party at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Daniel Driffin, a 30-year-old native of Atlanta, Georgia, took center stage yesterday, speaking about HIV/AIDS advocacy.
Driffin, a Black, gay man, wears many hats in Georgia. He is Co-Chair of the Task Force on AIDS and HIV in Fulton County, a Youth HIV Policy Advisor for Georgia Equality, and the co-founder of three, HIV-related projects: The Young Black Gay Men's Leadership Initiative, Thrive SS, Inc., and Undetectables Atlanta, an online support group for more than 400 gay and bisexual men living with HIV. Driffin also recently appeared in a PBS segment detailing the impact of the HIV epidemic in Atlanta.
In his nationally televised speech, Driffin reflected on the trajectory of the HIV and AIDS epidemic and issued a call to action for Democrats to "invest in research and education, to expand treatment and prevention [options], and to elect Hillary Clinton." Driffin went on to say that, "with Hillary Clinton as our President, I believe that we can meet our goal of an AIDS-free generation."
"His speech inspired so many Black gay or bisexual men like myself," HRC HIV and AIDS Project Manager, Marvell Terry II, said. "I agree with Daniel that, if elected, Secretary Clinton will continue to fight for the dignity and well-being of people living with and affected by HIV."
In May of this year, 20 HIV advocates representing a coalition of more than 70 organizations, including HRC, met with Secretary Clinton at her Brooklyn campaign headquarters to discuss her HIV and AIDS policy agenda. Clinton released her HIV platform soon after launching her campaign, and it outlines some some of her key priorities, which include "expanding the utilization of HIV prevention medications, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).