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1767AIDS Panel Director Leaves Amid Controversy over Activist

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  • umcornet <umcornet@yahoo.com>
    Feb 5, 2003

      From: CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update, Wednesday, February 05,

      The full Washington Post artice that the following summarizes is at:

      AIDS Panel Director Leaves Amid Controversy over Activist
      Washington Post (02.05.03)::Ceci Connolly

      Patricia Ware, the executive director of the Presidential
      Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, left her post days after
      activist Jerry Thacker, selected for the panel on her
      recommendation, withdrew amid revelations he had described AIDS
      as the "gay plague" and homosexuality as a "death style." Bush
      administration officials said Ware was being promoted to a more
      influential role in the Department of Health and Human Services.
      But several sources close to both the White House and PACHA
      involved in the deliberations over Ware's departure asserted that
      she was moved to avoid further embarrassment over Thacker's

      Claude Allen, deputy secretary at HHS and a longtime friend
      of Ware, announced her departure on Friday at the conclusion of
      PACHA's two-day meeting. A veteran of the first Bush
      administration with ties to the religious right, Ware was a
      leading proponent of abstinence-only sex education and was former
      director of the conservative Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV

      "She is being promoted to work within the office of the
      assistant secretary of health. She will be broadening and
      expanding her portfolio," Allen said yesterday. "She will now be
      working across the board in many areas of health. We need our
      best people working on health issues." Allen said White House
      staffer Josephine Robinson will temporarily take over the council

      For several months, AIDS activists and some council members
      grumbled that Ware overreached in the job, frequently imposing
      her personal ideological views in setting the council's agenda.
      Much of the controversy revolved around comments Ware made
      regarding the role of gay white men in spreading HIV and in
      controlling many of the most influential AIDS organizations. "It
      appeared at times that she wanted to blame the gay community for
      AIDS," said Stuart Burden, a Levi Strauss Foundation executive
      who completed his term on PACHA last year.

      Other activists, who requested anonymity, said that Ware
      seemed to be attempting to broaden the AIDS coalition by adding
      minorities and religious activists. "The theory of getting
      someone who can speak to the evangelical community is a good
      idea," said one council member. "In this instance, she just
      picked the wrong person."

      Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not
      be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be
      cited as the source of the information.