For Immediate Release
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Trump Administration’s Latest Action Threatens National Progress on HIV/AIDS, Sexual Health Overall
After the Trump Administration’s abrupt termination of members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, Chitra Panjabi, President and CEO of SIECUS, issued the following statement:
“We are extremely disappointed in this Administration’s unexpected decision to terminate all remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) in late December. Since 1995, PACHA has advised the White House on HIV/AIDS-related policy activity and priorities, and offered recommendations on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy developed under the Obama Administration. Coupled with the continued vacancy for the director role at The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), this Administration is undoubtedly working to roll back the progress we’ve made in relation to HIV/AIDS and sexual health overall.
While not uncommon for new administrations to adjust the makeup of PACHA, the choice to terminate all members without warning—and before their terms are finished—is highly unusual.
Not only has PACHA served as a vitally important body for addressing HIV/AIDS in this country, but it’s also been a powerful force for both promoting comprehensive sexuality education and condemning abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. In an Administration that overwhelmingly prioritizes shameful, ineffective methods for teaching young people about sexuality, PACHA has been a small beacon of light—advocating for young people’s rights to accurate information about their bodies and their health. We are disheartened to see yet another effort to rollback such progress.
It seems that in the new year, this Administration plans to stick to its same old practice of neglecting science, reason, and expertise as they continue to compromise the sexual health and wellbeing of the nation.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sexuality education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS affirms that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one that is worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the right of all people to accurate information, comprehensive education about sexuality, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.