Our usual monthly staff meeting was the morning after the election. Normally our staff from across the state get together to share updates and celebrate recent successes, but the mood in the room was somber.
There is a lot of anxiety as to how this election will impact the people living with HIV we serve in Nebraska, Iowa, and Wyoming. Great uncertainty surrounds the pillars upon which we have built so much of our recent success. Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed? Will people living with HIV lose the right to purchase health insurance that we have fought decades to obtain? Will our public health infrastructure, education system, and social safety nets suffer losses that weaken our defense against HIV?
Whether these things happens or not, we do not know.
Here is what we know:
HIV succeeds where we as a society struggle. HIV thrives where there is ignorance, poverty, homelessness, racism, sexism, and stigma. When we address these issues, we are fighting HIV.
We know our legacy is that of people who faced down a plague – people who were compelled to stand when every reality in their world tried to push them to their knees. No matter what happens as a result of this election, we will not forget from where we came. We will persevere. With our partners, we will push forward to a world free of HIV and AIDS.
We know our work is more important now than it was two days ago.
We know you understand this too.
Jordan Delmundo, MPA, MSW
Nebraska AIDS Project – Executive Director
P.S. – So many people have reached out in the past days, asking how they can help now that the election is over. To all of you – you give us so much hope! For those of you who are wondering how you can help, you can donate online or apply to become a volunteer! Visit our Get Involved page for more information.