Six experts resign from Trump HIV/AIDS panel

June 19, 2017

Six top health advisors have resigned from Donald Trump's advisory council on HIV/AIDS, complaining that the US president doesn't really care about combatting the illness.

In a letter published Friday in Newsweek, Scott Schoettes said the Trump administration has "no strategy" on AIDS and that he and his five colleagues will be more effective advocating for change from the outside.

Schoettes, counsel and HIV project director at Lambda Legal, resigned Tuesday from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, along with Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados.

The council can have up to 25 members.

"The Trump administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and—most concerning—pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease," Schoettes wrote.

"If we do not ensure that US leadership at the executive and legislative levels are informed by experience and expertise, real people will be hurt and some will even die," he said.

"Because we do not believe the Trump administration is listening to—or cares—about the communities we serve as members of PACHA, we have decided it is time to step down."

PACHA, which was created in 1995, includes , researchers, , faith leavers, HIV advocates and people living with HIV. Its helps inform the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which was last revised in 2015.

Schoettes noted that Trump failed to appoint a head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, a senior advisory position, and took down the Office of National AIDS Policy website the very day he took office—on January 20—and has yet to replace it.

He also stressed that changes Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress are seeking to the sweeping care reform initiated by former president Barack Obama would be "extremely harmful" to people living with HIV or AIDS.

Schoettes cited data showing that only 40 percent of people living with HIV in the United States can access life-saving medications.

Explore further: National Archives to White House: Save all Trump tweets

Related Stories

National Archives to White House: Save all Trump tweets

April 3, 2017
The National Archives and Records Administration has told the White House to keep each of President Donald Trump's tweets, even those he deletes or corrects, and the White House has agreed.

Trump signs NASA bill, ponders sending Congress to space (Update 3)

March 21, 2017
President Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday adding human exploration of Mars to NASA's mission. Could sending Congress into space be next?

The health consequences of Trump's global gag order

May 19, 2017
President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order that media reports say could obstruct nearly US$8.8 billion the U.S. spends annually to fight deadly diseases abroad. Here, Maureen Miller, a Columbia University Medical ...

Trump doesn't rule out 'amended' Obamacare: WSJ

November 11, 2016
US President-elect Donald Trump has said he will consider an "amended" version of Barack Obama's signature health care law—a sign of a shift in position after repeatedly vowing on the campaign trail that he would repeal ...

Recommended for you

New injectable antiretroviral treatment proved to be as effective as standard oral therapy

August 3, 2017
Intramuscularly administered antiretroviral therapy (ART) may be as effective for HIV treatment as current oral therapies. This is the main conclusion of a Phase II clinical trial carried out by 50 research centers around ...

Research finds home-based kit would increase HIV testing

July 31, 2017
Research led by William Robinson, PhD, Associate Research Professor of Behavioral & Community Health Sciences at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health, has found that 86% of heterosexuals who are at high risk for ...

Scientists divulge latest in HIV prevention

July 25, 2017
A far cry from the 1990s "ABC" campaign promoting abstinence and monogamy as HIV protection, scientists reported on new approaches Tuesday allowing people to have all the safe sex they want.

Girl's HIV infection seems under control without AIDS drugs

July 24, 2017
A South African girl born with the AIDS virus has kept her infection suppressed for more than eight years after stopping anti-HIV medicines—more evidence that early treatment can occasionally cause a long remission that, ...

Meds by monthly injection might revolutionize HIV care (Update)

July 24, 2017
Getting a shot of medication to control HIV every month or two instead of having to take pills every day could transform the way the virus is kept at bay.

Candidate AIDS vaccine passes early test

July 24, 2017
The three-decade-old quest for an AIDS vaccine received a shot of hope Monday when developers announced that a prototype triggered the immune system in an early phase of human trials.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.