October 19, 2017 at 6:00 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gays under consideration for presidential AIDS advisory panel

The Trump administration has reportedly reached out to gay Republicans about potential appointments to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Gay Republicans knowledgeable on AIDS issues and LGBT people involved in AIDS work have been among those contacted by a Trump administration official for a possible appointment to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS known as PACHA, according sources familiar with the advisory body.
 
The outreach to potential LGBT appointees began shortly after President Trump issued an executive order on Sept. 29 extending the life of PACHA and 31 other presidential advisory committees for at least one more year.
 
President Bill Clinton created PACHA in 1995 to provide advice and recommendations by experts on how the federal government should best respond to the AIDS epidemic. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama continued PACHA’s tenure during their administrations.
 
Two sources familiar with PACHA, who spoke on condition of not being identified, said an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services acting on behalf of the White House reached out to LGBT people and others involved in AIDS work, including some gay Republican activists, to invite them to submit their names as nominees for a PACHA appointment.
 
The HHS official began contacting potential appointees just under four months after six PACHA members released a joint letter to Newsweek on June 17 announcing they were resigning from PACHA in protest over the Trump administration policies on HIV/AIDS.
 
The six members, who were appointed during the Obama administration, said they were especially troubled over Trump’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare. The six, including Scott Schoettes, HIV project director for the LGBT litigation group Lambda Legal, said Obamacare was instrumental to the healthcare needs of large numbers of people with HIV/AIDS.
 
Records of PACHA’s operations obtained from the website of the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees PACHA, show PACHA had 23 members in April 2016. The advisory panel’s current web page shows it has ten remaining members, seven fewer than the 17 left in place at the time of the six resignations in June.
 
Carl Schmid, deputy executive director the AIDS Institute, a national AIDS advocacy organization, said he had no comment on reports of potential PACHA nominees.
 
“But we are pleased the Trump administration is moving forward with PACHA,” Schmid said.
 
“It’s my understanding that HHS has been reaching out to folks regarding potential PACHA nominations,” said Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans.
 
“President Trump has made clear the continued commitment of his administration to combating HIV,” Angelo said in taking exception to the assertions by the six PACA members who resigned in June. “HIV is a disease with a disproportionate impact on the LGBT community, so it should come as no surprise that the administration may be reaching out to LGBT individuals expert in the field of HIV treatment and care on this matter,” Angelo said.

Ronald Johnson, vice president of policy and advocacy for the national AIDS group AIDS United, said his organization was “not aware of any outreach by the Trump administration regarding PACHA appointments.” But Johnson added, “AIDS United appreciates the continuation of PACHA’s charter and awaits its operation with a full membership.”
 
Miguel Gomez, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of HIV-Infectious Disease Policy, which works with PACHA, said PACHA held its last meeting in Washington on Aug. 30. He said its members routinely confer on conference calls.
 
Gomez said he could not confirm whether an HHS official has reached out to LGBT AIDS experts for a possible PACHA appointment.

“The White House announced that it is continuing the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and has been having discussions about its future,” Gomez told the Blade. “We will soon be publishing a notice in the Federal Register to solicit nominations for membership,” he said.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

41 Comments
  • It doesn’t say much for the National President of the Log cabins that he has just heard second hand that Trump is considering some LGBT names for PACHA. I guess he is not much of an insider.

    • Probably more of an insider than people from the HRC who made it the organization’s key role to put Hillary in office. I don’t they’ll be getting any access ti the WH for at least the next eight years.

      Maybe the the HRC should go back to having cocktail parties for all of their affluent donors at furniture stores.

      • So we are left with an Administration that ignores both the part of our community that supported his election and the part that opposed him. Well, at least Trump is good at insulting Gold Star families.

        • Who said Trump is ignoring any of us at all? We’re getting tax cuts, lower unemployment, safer streets from the rounding up criminal illegal aliens and his administration is protecting us all from Islamist terrorism.

          There are MANY gay people who support Trump and his MAGA agenda. Just because he doesn’t announce proclamations to name streets after gays or lesbians makes him evil and hateful? When did we get so petty?

          One thing for sure, the elitist Democrat snobs who run most of the LGBTQ organizations won’t be getting invitations to the White House any time soon. Trump is a man of the people!

          • I said he is ignoring the LGBT community (or openly hostile to us). I think most of our community agrees with me.

          • You don’t speak for most of the LGBT population. You must be a rather narcissistic individual to claim to speak for “most” of a population.
            No one elected you queen of the queens!

            Trump is not hostile to gays, he’s signed no legislation or executive orders hurting the interests or gay people at all.

            Unlike Bill Clinton who signed DOMA and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” back in the 1990s.

          • I didn’t say I speak for the community. I gave my view and said I think most of the community agrees with me.

          • You are a rather evasive individual. You make a statement and then try to spin it to something else. Maybe you need to reflect on your own weaknesses instead of transferring it all on Trump.

          • I made a statement that Trump is ignoring our community. I stated I think most in our community agree with me. You had difficulty understanding that, so I repeated it. I’ve now repeated it a second time. This is getting tiresome, but is better than Trump’s habit of insulting Gold Star families.

          • Yes, I think you are a confirmed narcissist. One of the other characteristics of NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is the inability to admit one has made a mistake. Since you are so perfect in every way!

            Oh! The virtue signaling! Oh! The humanity!

          • I stated an opinion and I suggested others agreed with me. You’ve not responded to either claim. Can’t see how that is a mistake. A mistake would be insulting Gold Star families.

          • Bravo! I can say without hesitation that I support that comment 100%. No one knows the facts surrounding LGBT voting habits in 2016.

            Gold Star families have been insulted for years. In the last generation, 56,000 families lost a service member in the Vietnam War. Only to have Leftists tell them in the public space that their sons were “baby killers” and disgrace in the war.

            People get insulted for all kinds of reasons, it’s just a fact of life but not the end of the world.

            It’s a matter of fact that free speech includes insults.

          • You are an insult to the community! Stop referring to yourself as being part of my community you leech!

          • You don’t have enough money to live in my community! LOL

          • I wouldn’t want to live anywhere near you! You’re a living slum!

          • They do and you state fact not opinion! Don’t list to the loser!

          • You are a confirmed a-hole and right-wing loser!

          • You support baby killing through abortion. What could be lower than that?

          • Who said I support abortion? I support choice. People deciding for themselves. Not the state deciding for you! You’re so full of $h!t when you speak of personal freedom yet you want to control the freedom on individuals! I don’t see you lining up to adopt those unwanted babies!

          • I don’t support MURDER like you. I have values, which you don’t!

          • You support the murder of gay men through apathy toward them if they have AIDS! Left to you, people would still have no medications to prolong their lives! You are shameful and a disgrace!

          • Values? You only value yourself at the expense of all others. Greed and selfishness. Is that your christian virtue?

          • You don’t either. Who are you to claim that you speak for MOST let alone the LGBT population? You’re arrogant, smug and disgusting. Definitely a queen!

            Stop trying to sell us your snake oil on Trump! We can see what he is. You can’t sugar coat his blatant lies like he thinks he is doing. Obama repealed DADT and unlike any Republican President supported marriage equality!

          • You degenerate! Begone satan! Go kiss Clinton’s behind and maybe it’ll throw you a scrap from the table!

          • Now we know you really are a sick weirdo! What’s next an exorcism Linda Blair?

          • Yes I agree with you. Ignore the Putz! He’s a right-wing idiot living delusions. He believes gay men deserved AIDS because of their sexual behavior. He’s that callous and obnoxious!

          • Employment was already low when Obama left office. Who is “we” in terms of tax cuts? Are you the top 1.0% or a corporation? Safer streets? Protecting us from Terrorism? You mean like at the Las Vegas Massacre?

            Yes, Trump and his supporters are hateful! Racist! Yes, he’s evil like YOU! Your hateful callous you deserve AIDS because of your sexual behavior attitude proves you are and you will NEVER shake that off! You’ve always been petty!

            Trump is a chump and so are those that support him! Screw him, you and his supporters! When were you invited to the White House exactly? When has any of these GLBT supporters up his rear end seen at the White House? If you go, is it through the kitchen entrance?

          • LOL..that’s rich! YOU calling someone evil? You support the murder of unborn babies, the wanton, irresponsible sexual behavior that leads to AIDS, stealing from others through taxes. You are the very definition of evil!

          • Listen to you. Wonton sexual behavior. Get a load of you. You prissy little Missy! You’re attitude to gay men who suffered and died of AIDS, people far better than you, prove that you are evil! There is nothing good or moral about you!

          • It’s wanton, we’re not talking about Chinese food here you idiot! You’re a degenerate and support every evil there is in the world? I bet you aren’t even a Christian are you?

          • What a ridiculous prude you are! Like bad Chinese food your are food poisoning! You bet I’m not a Christian? I bet Jesus wouldn’t think you are either!

          • Go eat a ham sandwich loser! LOL

          • Is that supposed to be a witty comeback? You’re definitely a soggy sandwich fool of cheese!

          • Haha! You don’t even get the joke either! You on meds or something?

          • You’re the joke! You need to swish on down the road!

          • Run a long and buy your case of condoms for the evening! You’re looser than an Eva Gabor wig!

          • Just like you thought Marine Le Pen was a picture of a Drag Queen! You dunce!

          • Is that a comeback? Still obsessing about Marie Le Pen. You wish you were her don’t you? Sad little whiny queen!

      • They’ll have access after 2020 when your failure POTUS is ousted! You’re full of $h!t as usual blaming HRC’s support for Hillary! Trump has consistently done nothing but pursue and support policies against the GLBT community since he’s taken office! He is fulfilling the expectations of the FRC and their agenda as he promised them!

        • We’ll see who wins in 2020. Who are the Dems going to run for prez? They’ve got no one who can win. The Democrat primary is still 100% rigged for Wall Street with super delegates.

          Who wants to vote for another corporatist, war-monger shill just like Clinton. Thats all the Democrats have these days.

          It’s a losing theme for a party in decline.

          • An ape would be better than Trump! We won’t be running Clinton next time! You wish! People are getting very fed up with Trump and his obnoxious behavior! You wish it was rigged. Did you prove the voter fraud and wire tapping distraction yet?

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