Why an AIDS Charity Made a Deepfake of Trump

Is this deepfake of President Trump too misleading? Here's why the charity that created the video is standing by it.

"AIDS is over"

This deepfake video of President Trump was criticized in France for being misleading. French AIDS organization Solidarité Sida created the deepfake for its #Treatment4All campaign for universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment. AIDS has already killed nearly 35 million people worldwide. Today, nearly 700 to 800,000 people die from it per year because they have limited access to the therapy. In 2018, nearly 38 million people were living with HIV worldwide according to UNAIDS.

“It took 30 years to eradicate this horrible disease, which killed so many people, so many, so sad. And so, the idea was that this is unfortunately the kind of thing we had to do to get the attention of the media and the general public. So, it’s sad but fighting AIDS is not enough. You have to exhibit your commitment and the realities of the cause to be more effective. It seems to me that it was worth it. The risk was worth taking. And that we managed it carefully enough that we didn’t come across as trying to fool people into thinking it was real. We know that the U.S. is a country that’s been committed to fighting AIDS for a very long time, and that it’s the leading contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. We weren’t targeting the U.S. with this video. It was about Trump and the character he represents, and we thought it would be funny to leverage his personality, whether in a disparaging way or not, to make our movement a lot more visible,” Solidarité Sida Founder Luc Barruet tells Brut.

President George W. Bush helped establish two new initiatives: the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Over 17 million people received life-saving treatment based on a report from The Global Fund.