Washington Post, June 19, 2017
Amy B. Wang

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The first hints of an uncertain future for the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS came last year, when Donald Trump's presidential campaign refused to meet with advocates for people living with HIV, said Scott Schoettes, a member of the council since 2014.

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.

“I started to think, was it going to be useful or wise or would it be possible to work with this administration?” Schoettes told The Washington Post. “Still, I made a decision to stick it out and see what we could do.”

Less than six months later, Schoettes said those initial reservations had given way to full-blown frustration over a lack of dialogue with or caring from Trump administration officials about issues relating to HIV or AIDS.

Last week, he and five others announced they were quitting the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, also known as PACHA. According to Schoettes, the last straw — or “more like a two-by-four than a straw” — had come in May, after the Republican-dominated House passed the American Health Care Act, which he said would have “devastating” effects on those living with HIV. [...]

health law policy hivaids infectious diseases public health