Trump 'doesn't care,' say six experts who resigned from HIV/AIDS advisory council

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Specifically, Schoettes criticized the White House for supporting legislation "that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease".

The council was established under the Clinton administration and is tasked with providing recommendations to the administration regarding treatment, prevention, and curing HIV and AIDS, as well as offering guidance for implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

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

In the letter, Schoettes mentions that only about 40% of people living with HIV in the United States are able to access the life-saving medications which have been around for over 20 years. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), did not meet with HIV advocates.

That unease was magnified on Inauguration Day in January, when an official White House website for the Office of National AIDS Policy vanished, Schoettes said.

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He also stressed that changes Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress are seeking to the sweeping health care reform initiated by former president Barack Obama would be "extremely harmful" to people living with HIV or AIDS. As of Monday morning, some of their bios remained on PACHA's government website.

In light of the administration's willful negligence, people are calling for the other 15 members of the council to resign as well. "However, we can not ignore the many signs that the Trump Administration does not take the on-going epidemic or the needs of people living with HIV seriously".

"It is a bill that will make it much more hard for people living with HIV to obtain coverage if they do not already have it, [and] to afford coverage because the insurers are going to be able to once again start charging people with preexisting conditions who fall off of the insurance rolls for any period of time, more hard for them to get back in. Where's their courage? This should have been a mass protest with ALL members resigning", wrote prominent, long-time AIDS activist Peter Staley.

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. "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".

"Because we do not believe the Trump administration is listening to-or cares-about the communities we serve as members of PACHA, we have decided it is time to step down", Schoettes writes.

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