21 Nov The American Academy of HIV Medicine Condemns Mass Shooting at LGBTQ Club and Reaffirms Commitment to Protecting Those in the LGBTQ Community
AAHIVM Statement: The American Academy of HIV Medicine stands with the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs, Colo., and across the country, and unequivocally condemns the senseless shooting that killed five people and injured at least 25 others at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub, over the weekend. We mourn the lives lost to this unconscionable violence.
“As an organization focused on the impact of HIV disease, the Academy has been inextricably tied to the LGBTQ community since our organization’s founding more than 20 years ago. It’s difficult not to feel devastated when such a tragedy occurs at a place that has been a haven for those LGBTQ individuals,” says Bruce J. Packett, the Executive Director of the American Academy of HIV Medicine. “Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by this shooting. Together, we must work to ensure a society that values and protects LGBTQ people, and to eliminate gun violence as a public health menace.”
Although the motive for the attack is not yet clear, it is known that the LGBTQ community has historically faced – and continues to face – violence due to hate crimes. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that more than 20 percent of hate crimes are motivated by bias against LGBTQ people. As well, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a leading LGBTQ advocacy organization, has tracked violence against transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals since 2012. According to statistics compiled by HRC, there have been at least 300 violent deaths of TGD people over the past 10 years, including 32 deaths in 2022 alone.