Published: Sat, December 30, 2017
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Trump Reportedly Terminated All Members Of HIV/AIDS Council Without Explanation

Trump Reportedly Terminated All Members Of HIV/AIDS Council Without Explanation

President Donald Trump reportedly fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) Wednesday.

Mr Schoettes was one of six former council members who left the council in June, claiming that the President "simply does not care" about people living with HIV.

"Like any administration, they want their own people there", Maldonado told the Washington Blade. 'Many of us were Obama appointees. "I wasn't supposed to leave until 2018". Medications have advanced since then, making HIV a much more manageable diagnosis for many Americans.

Gabriel Maldonado, CEO of the LGBT and HIV/AIDS group Truevolution and a remaining member of PACHA said the reasons for the firings remain unclear but may have been borne of a desire by the Trump administration to clear out appointments made by his predecessor Barack Obama.

This week, HIV reseracher Dr Patrick Sullivan told The Washington Post that a form letter was sent out that "thanked me for my past service and said that my appointment was terminated, effective immediately". Fangerous that #Trump and Co. He took to Twitter to lambaste the president's decision, accusing it of being part of a strategy to bring back "abstinence-only" sex education, among other "harmful policies". However, according to him, "a lot of those key vulnerable populations are not being prioritized in this administration".

In addition to these recent firings, Trump has also sought huge cuts to programs, including $150 million on HIV/AIDS at the Centers of Disease Control.

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Maldonado said he represented a younger demographic on PACHA as the only member under the age of 30, which he said is where the majority of new HIV infections are occurring, and as a young, black gay man.

Ben Plumley, Chief Executive Officer of Pangaea, an worldwide HIV organization that works with funders and national governments to help at-risk populations, has said that if the USA lets HIV go unchecked at home and overseas, it will destabilize each country's national security. "To lose this body's expertise and counsel at the White House on HIV issues threatens to unravel years of progress and our collective efforts to end HIV within our lifetimes".

News of the terminations comes after the Trump administration prohibited officials at the nation's top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in official documents being prepared for next year's budget.

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

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

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