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Opinion

Members Resign From Trump HIV/AIDS Commission -- and Others Stay; All Are Needed in the Fight

June 22, 2017

At the start of last week, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) comprised its full roster of 21 members, and no one outside the HIV advocacy community was paying them any mind. By the end of the week, PACHA's numbers had dwindled to 15, and the abrupt resignation of six members arguably generated more media interest in the Council than had been seen since that body's creation back in 1995.

First, Newsweek published an opinion piece by recently departed PACHA member Scott Schoettes, in which the HIV project director/senior attorney for Lambda Legal stated flatly that he and the other five exiting council members "do not believe the Trump Administration is listening to -- or cares -- about the communities we serve." Soon after, a slew of prominent media outlets covered the story.

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