via GMHC, By Sean Cahill and Sabina Ibarrola
In 2009, gay newsmagazine The Advocate ran a cover story on President Obama's perceived shortcomings on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) policy, illustrating the story with its own take on the famous Shepard Fairey campaign posters and asking "NOPE?" in place of the cutline "HOPE."
Nearly two years later, however, the Obama administration has indeed made important strides in both LGBT and HIV/AIDS policy, which bear reflecting on during this year's LGBT Pride Month.
There are of course the high-profile achievements, such as the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009), which mandates a federal response to bias crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity. The Shepard Act also mandates the collection of data on hate crimes based on gender identity. But there have been other, quieter victories too.
In terms of HIV/AIDS, January 2010 saw the repeal of the HIV travel and immigration ban, lifting a 22-year prohibition on HIV-positive visitors entering the US for any reason.
Also in 2010, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which aims to reduce new infections, increase access to care, and reduce health disparities, with a focus on African Americans (half of new infections) and gay men (more than half of new infections).
This spring, the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator at the U.S. State Department issued field guidance for HIV prevention among men who have sex with men (MSM), which also includes language addressing the needs of transgender people.