Six members resign from Donald Trump HIV/AIDS panel

'Trump Doesn't Care About HIV': Six Resign From Presidential HIV Advisory Council

'Trump Doesn't Care About HIV': Six Resign From Presidential HIV Advisory Council

Formed in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, PACHA was created to counsel the White House about the AIDS epidemic. The council has continued to advise administrations and, under President Obama's tenure, helped produce the influential National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

Last Friday, 16th of June 2017, six members of the council resigned. This could effectively reduce infections, improve the accessibility to health care, reduce inequalities in health accessibility and consolidate national efforts in bringing down the numbers.

The resignation letter was drafted by Scott Schoettes.

Schoettes quit the council on Tuesday, along with Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados.

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Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, explained in a Newsweek op-ed Friday that he and five colleagues made a decision to leave their posts on the council in protest of the Trump administration, which they allege "has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic".

Schoettes also recalls that, before the election, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met with HIV advocates while candidate Trump refused to do so.

He further noted that Trump took down the Office of National AIDS Policy website the day of his inauguration, no replacement has surfaced, and that most importantly, "President Trump has not appointed anyone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, a post that held a seat on the Domestic Policy Council under President Obama".

It's been 5 months since the sitting president's administration took office. This policy ensured greater awareness and improved care he said.

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HIV/AIDS patients benefit a lot under the Affordable Care Act, especially from the Medicaid expansion.

According to the PACHA website, it "provides advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary regarding programs, policies, and research to promote effective treatment, prevention and cure of HIV disease and AIDS, including considering common co-morbidities of those infected with HIV as needed to promote effective HIV prevention and treatment and quality services to persons living with HIV disease and AIDS". It would particularly affect homosexual populations and also affect non-HIV homosexual and bisexual men and transgender women who need insurance for medications and supplies for preventing exposure and contracting HIV/AIDS.

The several individuals that resigned argue they would "be more effective from the outside", and are calling for members of Congress to listen to others who are working to reform the healthcare system.

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