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Six members of president Trumps advisory council on HIV/AIDs have resigned

Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned recently.The council was created in 1995 with the aim of providing advice, information and recommendations to the Secretary of Health concerning the prevention and cure of HIV and AIDS.Schoettes writes that he feels he can’t “effectively” combat this disease “within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care”.”The decision to resign from government service is not one that any of us take lightly”, Schoettes wrote on behalf of his colleagues.Schoettes also recalls that, before the election, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met with HIV advocates while candidate Trump refused to do so.”Whatever the politics of that decision, Mr. Trump missed an opportunity to learn-from the experts-about the contours of today’s epidemic and the most pressing issues now affecting people living with HIV“.Furthermore, the president has yet to appoint anyone to lead this same office – a position that held a seat on the Domestic Policy Council under President Barack Obama.He further noted that Trump did not meet with HIV/AIDS advocates during his campaign, and that his administration dismantled the Office of National AIDS Policy website without replacing it.This is particularly troubling, he wrote, as “no one is tasked with regularly bringing salient issues regarding this ongoing public health crisis to the attention of the President and his closest advisers”. Schoettes warns that Medicaid cuts could damage HIV care access for many low-income Americans and that AHCA policies could negatively hurt people of color, queer men, transgender women, and HIV-positive Americans living in Southern and rural areas that need HIV/AIDS medical care access.The letter stated: “We know who the biggest losers will be if states are given the option of eliminating essential health benefits or allowing insurers to charge people with HIV substantially more than others”.According to The Hill on Saturday night, six members on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS have chose to quit, ripping the president during an initial interview and statement with Newsweek.The six former council members believe they would be more effective in the fight against AIDS from “the outside” and they will continue to urge members of Congress to listen to advocates as they work to reform the health care system.The White House has yet to respond to the council members’ resignations.