More than 200 Scientists, Researchers and Clinicians including the co-discoverer of HIV Denounce Trump Administration Policies that Undermine the Global HIV Response

March 7, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Jessica Bassett, 518-593-7628 , jessica@healthgap.org

More than 200 HIV scientists, researchers and clinicians – including Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, a virologist and Nobel Laureate who co-discovered HIV; Linda-Gail Bekker, President of the International AIDS Society; and the HIV Medicine Association – have signed an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump denouncing the deterioration of evidence-based policymaking during his administration. The letter was released today on the final day of the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston, Massachusetts. CROI is the preeminent HIV research meeting in the world and attracts more than 4,000 HIV/AIDS research leaders internationally. The conference has facilitated the presentation of important discoveries in the field and accelerated progress in HIV/AIDS research.
 
On this last day of the conference, scientists, researchers, and clinicians spoke out against actions taken during the Trump presidency, which has been marked by a dramatic decline of evidence-based policymaking and repeated attempts to slash funding for scientific research.
 
The full text of the letter and list of signatories follows:
 
We, the undersigned, are HIV clinicians, researchers and scientists responding to the AIDS epidemics around the world and in the U.S.
 
We are gravely concerned by President Trump's pursuit of policies that are out of step with evidence. The most recent examples include:
 
President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget proposal to the U.S. Congress that contains at least $1.284 billion in cuts to life saving global HIV programs, when no less than $850 million in additional funding is needed for PEPFAR, and a full $1.35 billion in funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Analyses by UNAIDS show that a surge in global AIDS funding is needed now, in order to accelerate treatment and prevention and attain control of the epidemic by 2030.
 
Reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico City Policy, now called "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance." This policy blocks U.S. funding for non-U.S. organizations that use non-U.S. government sources of funding to provide abortion counseling or referrals, advocate to decriminalize abortion or expand abortion services. Expansion of this policy to include PEPFAR and all other health development assistance will reduce the standard of sexual and reproductive care provided to women living with and at risk for HIV.
 
The establishment of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at the Department of Health and Human Services, and the proposed rule regarding "Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care," an Executive action that, if enacted, would provide license for health care providers to discriminate against their patients.
 
Proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Fogarty International Center, which if enacted would slow urgently needed HIV basic and implementation research and impair work to build research capacity in partner nations to fight HIV.
 
Science shows us that we can defeat HIV, but not if we defy evidence.
 
President Trump’s misguided budget proposal, and his Administration’s attempts to scale up policies in defiance of evidence will only undermine the global AIDS response and should be stopped.
 
Signed,
 
Initial signatories:
 
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, PhD
Nobel Prize in Medicine 2008
Professor, Pasteur Institute and Research Director, INSERM
 
Max Essex, DVM, PhD
Lasker Professor of Health Sciences, Harvard University
Chair, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative (HAI)  
Chair, Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership
 
Linda-Gail Bekker MBChB, DTMH, DCH, FCP(SA), PhD
Deputy Director, Desmond Tutu HIV Center
President, International AIDS Society
 
Wafaa El-Sadr MD, MPH
Director, International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP)
Director, Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiologic Research, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
 
Paul Volberding, MD
Professor of Medicine and Associate Chair for Global Health, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Director, The AIDS Research Institute and Co-Director, The Center for AIDS Research
 
Salim Abdool Karim, MBChB, PhD, DSc
Director,  Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College, Cornell University
CAPRISA Professor for Global Health, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
 
Jose Zuniga, PhD, MPH
President, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC)
 
Anton Pozniak, MD
President-elect, International AIDS Society
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS
 
Connie Celum, MD, MPH
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Global Health
Director, International Clinical Research Center, Department of Global Health
Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington
 
Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH
Immediate Past President, International AIDS Society 
Director, Center for Public Health and Human Rights
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
 
Diane Havlir, MD
Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 
Chief of HIV/AIDS, San Francisco General Hospital
 
Donna Futterman, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of the Adolescent AIDS Program, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
 
Francois Venter, MD, FCP
Deputy Executive Director, Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand
 
Frank D. Goebel, MD
Professor Emeritus, Infectious Diseases, University of Munich, Germany
 
Judith Feinberg, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Professor, Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry
Professor, Medicine/Infectious Diseases
West Virginia University School of Medicine
 
Carole Treston, RN, MPH, ACRN, FAAN
Executive Director, National Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
 
Kathryn Anastos, MD
Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Population Health
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
 
Kenneth Mayer, MD
Professor, Harvard Medical School
Professor, Harvard School of Public Health
Attending Physician & Director of HIV Prevention Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Pedro Cahn, MD, PhD
Director, Fundación Huesped
Professor of Infectious Diseases, Buenos Aires University Medical School
 
Perry Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH
Dean | Rutgers School of Public Health
 
Peter Mugyenyi, MBChB, DCH, FRCPI, FRCPE, ScD
Founder, Joint Clinical Research Center on AIDS (JCRC), Uganda
 
Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH
Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Associate Director of the Program in Epidemiology and Outcomes Research, Harvard Center for AIDS Research
 
Stefano Vella, MD
Center for Global Health
The Italian National Institute of Health
 
John W. Mellors, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division Infectious Diseases
Endowed Chair for Global Elimination of HIV and AIDS
University of Pittsburgh
 
Sten H. Vermund, MD, PhD
Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health
Dean | Yale School of Public Health
 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
 

(Affiliations provided to individual endorsements are for identification purposes only.)

Complete list signatories as of March 6, 2018:

  1. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, PhD, Nobel Laureate

  2. Linda-Gail Bekker MBChB, DTMH, DCH, FCP(SA), PhD

  3. Anton Pozniak, MD

  4. Carole Treston, RN, MPH, ACRN, FAAN

  5. Chris Beyrer, MD

  6. Connie Celum, MD, MPH

  7. Diane Havlir, MD

  8. Donna Futterman, MD

  9. Francois Venter, MD, FCP

  10. Judith Feinberg, MD, FACP, FIDSA

  11. Kathryn Anastos, MD

  12. Kenneth Mayer, MD

  13. Max Essex, DVM, PhD

  14. Mardge Cohen, MD

  15. Paul Volberding, MD

  16. Pedro Cahn, MD, PhD

  17. Perry Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH

  18. Peter Mugyenyi, MBChB, DCH, FRCPI, FRCPE, ScD

  19. Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH

  20. Stefano Vella, MD

  21. Sten H. Vermund, MD, PhD

  22. Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA

  23. Adaora Adimora, MD, MPH

  24. Alexander Morse, MPH

  25. Alexandra Calmy, PhD

  26. Gregg Gonsalves, PhD

  27. Alison Case, MD

  28. Alison Roxby, MD, MSc

  29. Amir Mohareb, MD

  30. Andrea Ciaranello, MD, MPH

  31. Andrew Trotter, MD, MPH

  32. Angelo Seda, RN

  33. April Soto, MD

  34. Ashley Moore, MSW, LSW

  35. Asia Russell

  36. Bobby Cohen, MD

  37. Brian Williams, PhD

  38. Brittany Herrick, MPH

  39. Bruno Spire MD, PhD

  40. Carlos del Rio, MD

  41. Carmen Portillo, RN, PhD, FAAN

  42. Carol Dawson-Rose, RN

  43. Cassandra Pierre, MD, MPH

  44. Celicia Serenata, MBA

  45. Charlie Ferrusi, MPH

  46. Christie Lyn Costanza, MPH, CHES, CCRC

  47. Christopher Noble, MPH

  48. Clinton Trout, MA, MPH, DrPH

  49. Colleen Kelley, MD, MPH

  50. Dalmacio Flores, PhD

  51. Daniel Kuritzkes, MD

  52. Daniela Garone, MD

  53. Dara Winfield, FNP

  54. David Stein, MD

  55. David Vance, PhD, MGS, MS

  56. Deborah Gustafson, MS, PhD

  57. Debra Kosko, DNP, MN, FNP-BC

  58. Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH

  59. Donna Gallagher PhD, ANP

  60. Donna Gullette, PhD, APRN

  61. Donna Sabatino, RN, ACRN

  62. Edward Pilkington, MD

  63. Elisabeth Szumilin, MD

  64. Elizabeth Bukusi, MBChB, MD, MPH, PhD

  65. Elizabeth Holt, MSN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, AAHIVS

  66. Elizabeth Prohasky, MPH

  67. Emilia Iwu, RN, MSN, APN-C, FWACN

  68. Erin Athey, DNP, FNP-BC, RN

  69. Francois-Xavier MBOPI-KEOU, DBIOL, MPhil, MSc, PhD

  70. Frank D. Goebel, MD

  71. Gilles Van Cutsem, MD, MPH

  72. Gustavo Velásquez, MD, MPH

  73. Gregg Gonsalves, PhD

  74. Gwen Childs, PhD

  75. Harlan Pruden

  76. Harry Heiman, MD, MPH

  77. Henry Nguyen, FNP-BC, AAHIVS

  78. Hugues Fischer

  79. Ibra Ndoye, MD

  80. Igho Ofotokun, MD

  81. Ingrid Bassett, MD, MPH

  82. Jared Baeten, MD

  83. J. Craig Phillips, PhD, LLM, RN, ARNP, ACRN, FAAN

  84. James Gordon, MD

  85. James Sosman, MD

  86. Janet Turan, PhD

  87. Janitzio Guzman, MD

  88. Jason Leider, MD, PhD

  89. Jeffrey Kwong, DNP, MPH, ANP-BC, ACRN, AAHIVS

  90. Jean-François Delfraissy, MD, PhD

  91. Jeanne Kemppainen, PhD, RN, FAAN

  92. Jennifer Cohn, MD, MPH

  93. Jennifer Fisher, FNP

  94. Jennifer Pisano, MD

  95. Jessica Schmitt, LCSW

  96. Jina Saltzman, PA

  97. John Martin, MD

  98. John Mellors, MD

  99. John Nelson, PhD, CNS, CPNP

  100. Jonathan Colasanti, MD, MSPH

  101. Jonathan Lio, MD

  102. Jose M. Zuniga, PhD, MPH

  103. Judy Wessell, DNP, APRN-BC, AAHIVS

  104. Kate M. Guthrie, PhD

  105. Kathleen Bernock, FNP-BC, AAHIVS, AACRN

  106. Kathryn Foley, MD

  107. Katrin Sadigh, MD

  108. Keanan McGonigle, medical student

  109. Kim Scarsi, PharmD

  110. Kim Sigaloff, MD, PhD

  111. Kimberly Adams Tufts, DNP, WHNP-BC, FAAN

  112. Kirsten Corrigan, MHA

  113. Kristi Stringer, PhD

  114. LaRon E. Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP, FNAP, FAAN

  115. Lawrence Siegel, MD

  116. Leela Davies, MD, PhD

  117. Lindsay Gordon

  118. Lisa Abuogi, MD

  119. Lisa Cosimi, MD

  120. Lori Bollinger, PhD

  121. Lori Heise, PhD

  122. Luckyboy Edison Mkhondwane

  123. Lucy Bradley-Springer, PhD, RN, ACRN, FAAN

  124. Mai Pho, MD, MPH

  125. Maithe Enriquez, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN

  126. Marc D. Angel, PhD

  127. Matthew Kavanagh, PhD
  128. Melanie Steilen, RN, BSM, ACRN

  129. Melanie Thompson, MD

  130. Michael Hall

  131. Michael Relf, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, AACRN, CNE, FAAN

  132. Michaela Muller-Trutwin, PhD

  133. Michelle Kohler, RN

  134. Mildred Williamson, PhD, LCSW

  135. Mitchell Warren

  136. Mitchell J. Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS

  137. Nancy Hessol, MSPH

  138. Nathan Linsk, PhD

  139. Nina Sublette, PhD, APRN-BC

  140. Patricia Daoust, MSN, RN

  141. Paul Zeitz, DO, MPH

  142. Peter Reiss, MD

  143. Peter Wiessner

  144. Petros Isaakidis, MD, PhD

  145. Praphan Phanuphak, MD, PhD

  146. Raph Hamers, MD, PhD

  147. Raquel Ramos, PhD, MSN, MBA, FNP-BC

  148. Regina LaRocque, MD, MPH

  149. Renslow Sherer, MD

  150. Ricardo Rivero, MD, MPH

  151. Richard Murphy, MD

  152. Roger P. Clark, DO

  153. Rosalind Coleman MD, MPH

  154. Rouguy Balde,  MD, MPH

  155. Ryan O’Connell, MS, CHES

  156. Salim Abdool Karim, MBChB, PhD, DSc

  157. Sara Yeatman, PhD

  158. Scott Dryden-Peterson, MD

  159. Shahin Lockman, MD

  160. Sharon Hillier, PhD

  161. Sheila Davis, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN

  162. Sheldon Fields, PhD, RN, FAAN

  163. Simeon Kimmel, MD, MA

  164. Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, PhD

  165. Steffanie Sabbaj, PhD

  166. Susan L. Gaston, MSN, RN

  167. Susan Michaels-Strasser, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

  168. Tamara Hardoby, MPH

  169. Tobias Rinke de Wit, PhD

  170. Tom Ellman, MD

  171. Tomas Maira-Litran, PhD

  172. Tomiko Stein, MD, MPH

  173. Tonia Poteat, PhD, MPH, PA-C

  174. Tooba Imtiaz, MPH

  175. Tracey Wilson, PhD

  176. Veronica Njie-Carr, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FWACN

  177. Virginia Lipke, RN, MHA, ACRN, CIC

  178. William Towner, MD

  179. AIDS-Free World

  180. AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)

  181. American Sexual Health Association

  182. Association of Nurses in AIDS Care

  183. AVAC

  184. Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

  185. Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS

  186. HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA)

  187. Health GAP (Global Access Project)

  188. India HIV Alliance

  189. International Civil Society Support

  190. Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)

  191. International HIV/AIDS Alliance

  192. International Association of Providers of AIDS Care

  193. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

  194. Pan African Positive Women's Coalition-Zimbabwe

  195. Réseau Accès aux Médicaments Essentiels (RAME)

  196. Salamander Trust

  197. Tendo's World (Arts in Health)

  198. The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre

  199. Treasureland Health Builders Initiative

  200. UBtheCURE LLC

  201. The Well Project

  202. West and Central Regional HIV Research and Training Reference Center Hospital, Fann University Teaching Hospital – Dakar, Senegal

For running list of signatories, visit www.healthgap.org/croi

 

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