Experts worry about consequences of Trump’s HIV/AIDS council firings

Published 11, Jan, 2018
Author // Guest Authors - Revolving Door

“Is this a signal that they’re moving away from evidence-based policy?" From Healio, this report.

Experts worry about consequences of Trump’s HIV/AIDS council firings

To read the complete story visit Healio, here.

The AIDS czar under former U.S. President Barack Obama worries about the consequences of the Trump administration’s recent termination of the last members of a presidential HIV/AIDS council.

“Is this a signal that they’re moving away from evidence-based policymaking? That’s what’s troubling,” Jeffrey S. Crowley, MPH, program director of infectious disease initiatives at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, told Infectious Disease News in an interview.

Without explanation, the Trump administration fired every remaining member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) in letters on Dec. 27. The firings came six months after six members of the council publicly resigned in a letter that said President Donald J. Trump “simply does not care” about the subject of HIV/AIDS. Crowley and others have questioned the timing and meaning of the terminations by a White House now seen as detached from the HIV/AIDS community and possibly disdainful of science-based solutions to public health issues.

Fired PACHA advisor Gabriel Maldonado, founder and CEO of the Southern California-based LGBT and HIV/AIDS nonprofit TruEvolution, said many council members had voiced their opposition to the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has provided patients with HIV better access to health care. However, they said their disagreements with the White House extend beyond practical matters involving policy and implementation.

“For all intents and purposes, it’s really a restructuring with members who are more in alignment with their ideological, philosophical and moral beliefs,” Maldonado said of the firings. “This administration leans more toward abstinence-only sexual health education as opposed to comprehensive sexual health education, which is what the majority of the council members have advocated for.”

Maldonado also said that the council had clashed with the Trump administration over Medicaid block grants — most progressive HIV advocates are against them — as well as Trump’s attempt to ban transgender troops from the military and reports that the CDC will be prohibited from using certain words — including “science-based,” “evidence-based,” “transgender” and “diversity” — in federal budget documents.

To read the complete story visit Healio, here.

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Guest Authors - Revolving Door

Guest Authors - Revolving Door

The Revolving Door is the place where we publish occasional articles by guest writers. If you would like to submit an article for publication, please contact editor Bob Leahy at