Donald Trump, man who makes the final decisions about health care this country, is reportedly unsure about how HPV and HIV differ and asked Bill Gates to explain it to him. Twice.
MSNBC obtained a clip (opens in new tab) of Gates speaking at a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation staff meeting earlier this week. In it, Gates tells the group that he met Trump in December 2016 and again in March 2017, and on both occasions POTUS asked if human immune deficiency virus and human papillomavirus were the same thing.
"Both times he wanted to know if there was a difference between HIV and HPV," Gates says. "So, I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other." (For a man who has as much sex as Trump allegedly does, you would think he would have figured this out already...)
First off, Bill Gates is not an M.D., so not sure why Trump chose the entrepreneur and philanthropist as his teacher on this matter. But secondly, in case anyone (Trump are you reading this?) is confused, while both can be transmitted via sexual activity, the similarities stop there. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that is generally symptomless and harmless, but can result in genital warts or even cancer, depending on the strain contracted. HIV is a virus that is spread through bodily fluids, including blood, and which attacks the immune system. When left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS.
In related news, today the Trump administration is announcing they are cutting off all federal funding to health clinics that offer abortion services. According to the New York Times (opens in new tab), a new rule will "withhold money from any facility or program that promotes abortion or refers patients to a caregiver that will provide one." Sure, Trump is the person who should be making policy decisions about reproductive rights.
Danielle McNally is the executive editor of Marie Claire, overseeing features across every topic of importance to the MC reader: beauty, fashion, politics, culture, career, women's health, and more.
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