Trump terminates HIV/AIDS advisory panel members as he seeks replacements


Six members of the council resigned in June to protest President Donald Trump's apathy towards the epidemic and his attempts to take health care access away from people living with HIV/AIDS. No explanation was given by the president regarding their terminations, although some expect the firings are politically motivated.

The administration wanted to make changes to the advisory committee in order to find its own appointees, according to media reports. He was appointed to a four-year term in May 2016.

Created in 1995, PACHA has provided advice starting in the Clinton administration and into the George W. Bush and Obama administrations on policy and research to promote effective treatment and prevention for HIV - maintaining the goal of finding a cure. Medications have advanced since then, making HIV a much more manageable diagnosis for many Americans.

However, HIV/AIDS activists have been deeply critical of the White House's approach over the past year.

Scott Schoettes, who was one of the six members who resigned in June, is a lawyer for Lambda Legal, a national LGBT civil rights organization dedicated to those with HIV and AIDS. Unsafe that Trump and Co. But the jettisoned members are also encouraged to reapply to the new council, which will begin in 2018.

A notice on the Federal Register says the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking nominations for new council members.

As an example, Maldonado cited a recent Washington Post report the Centers for Disease Control is banned from using words like "diversity" and "transgender" in budge documents.

"This White House is giving me anxiety about my future", Maldonado said. The firing of the council members "is another outlandish and despicable move by the Trump administration in his year-long effort to erase the LGBT community and the issues that disproportionately affect us", he said in a statement Friday. "Every organization serving people living with HIV and fighting to end this epidemic must galvanize their networks of clients, staff, and volunteers to resist and fight back against these risky HIV policy decisions", he added.

He also noted that numerous dismissed council members whose terms expired earlier this year were sworn back in to their positions months ago - even after Trump signed an executive order which kept PACHA going for another year.

But in the meantime, an estimated 1.2 million people have HIV/AIDS in the United States, with the brunt of the epidemic hitting the African American community, and especially, young, black, gay men, where the majority of new HIV infections are occurring. ".I can only hope that my people - marginalized people - remember that we have been here before".

Trump's 2017 World AIDS Day proclamation didn't even mention LGBTQ people (although neither did the proclamations of some previous presidents).

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