6 members of Trump's HIV/AIDS advisory board resign in protest – Business Insider

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(Mic) — Six members of the Presidential Advisory
Council on HIV/AIDS resigned from the board in mid-June due to
President Donald Trump’s apparent lack of action regarding the
HIV epidemic.

In an op-ed forNewsweek,former PACHA member Scott Schoettes said he and five of his
colleagues left the council because they felt they were unable to
actively combat the ongoing health crisis under the Trump
administration.

“As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated
our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do
so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a
president who simply does not care,” Schoettes wrote in the
piece.

Schoettes said the Trump administration has no plan to
fight the epidemic, “seeks zero input from experts” to
develop
HIVpolicy and encourages legislation
that will hurt people with the
disease.

Additionally, Schoettes wrote that Trump eliminated the
White House Office of National AIDS Policy website the day he
took office, and has not yet reinstated the site. He also has not
appointed anyone to lead the the Office of National AIDS Policy,
and did not meet with any HIV advocates throughout his
campaign.

Bill Clinton created PACHA in 1995 to advise the Secretary
of Health and Human Services and offer advice regarding HIV/AIDS
research and policy proposals. Today, the council also oversees
efforts to adequately enforce the National HIV/AIDS Strategy,
which was formed under the administration of President Barack
Obama in 2010 and revised in 2015.

Lucy Bradley-Springer served on PACHA for two years under
Obama, and was recently sworn in for another two-year term before
she decided to resign. In a phone interview Monday, she said the
critical issue that convinced her to leave the council was
Trump’s failure to provide sufficient health care for people
living with HIV and AIDS.

red ribbon world aids dayChina
Photos/Getty

More than40%of the approximately1.1 millionpeople currently
living with HIV in the United States receive care through
Medicaid. Bradley-Singer said she worries Trump’s proposed
budget cutsto Medicaid could
significantly harm people with HIV who depend on the program for
treatments and medications.

“A lot of people living with HIV depend on having access to
care,” Bradley-Springer said. “If they don’t have access to care,
they don’t get the care they need, and then they also are more
likely to transmit the infection to other people.”

Despite her resignation from the board, Bradley-Springer
said she believes she’ll still be able to take an active role in
combating the HIV epidemic through her work as a nurse and the
editor for the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS
Care.

“I will continue to make sure that articles get published
that make a difference,” Bradley-Springer said. “And in my
editorials, I will continue to make the point that we need good
health care, and we need good social services to really make a
difference.”

Read the original article on Mic. Copyright 2017. Follow Mic on Twitter.

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