Abstinence Education Proponent Ware to Lead White House Advisory Panel on HIV/AIDS
Patricia Funderburk Ware, a "longtime proponent" of abstinence education, has been named executive director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, the Washington Times reports. PACHA advises the White House and federal agencies on HIV/AIDS-related programs, policies, research and prevention and treatment strategies. Ware was the director of the federal Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs during the administration of the first President George Bush, and she has also served as educational director for Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy. Ware once told a House committee that without "a conscious and focused emphasis on the tenets inculcated in the abstinence education approach ... sexual restraint tempered with morals and values, and a rebuilding of the two-parent family, America will lose the battle of AIDS and babies having babies." Shepherd Smith, president of the Institute for Youth Development, said he was pleased with Ware's appointment, stating that she will "reach communities that are most impacted [by HIV/AIDS] with the most appropriate messages." However, Christopher Labonte, health policy analyst at the Human Rights Campaign, said that he has mixed feelings about Ware's appointment. "There are some groups that she has been associated with in the past that have advocated for some fairly negative HIV and AIDS policy, which causes some concern," Labonte said. He added that he nonetheless hopes that under Ware's leadership, PACHA will continue to promote "positive policies," such as support for needle-exchange programs and Medicaid coverage for AIDS drugs. Council members serve four-year terms; the panel is currently led by former California Democratic Rep. Ron Dellums (Wetzstein, Washington Times, 12/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.