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The Trump administration has fired all remaining members of the President's Advisory Council on HIV/Aids (Pacha), according to social media reports and interviews with former members.

Although it is normal for a new administration to dismiss council members appointed by the previous administration before appointing their own, though Maldonado questioned the "unorthodox" timing of the decision.

"I can only speculate", he said.

This follows six of the council members resigning from their positions in June, citing Trump's regressive legislation and inaction on the global HIV/AIDS crisis as the reasons in an open letter to Newsweek.

Gabriel Maldonado, one of the 16 members fired this week, fears "ideological and philosophical differences" ultimately led to the terminations.

Schoettes' tweets hint at the idea that the Trump administration may be attempting to purge PACHA, in particular, of any Obama appointees who might be resistant to carrying out an abstinence-only or religious approach when it comes to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts - something that Vice President Mike Pence advocated during his time as governor of Indiana. In June, six members resigned, including Schoettes.

'No respect for their service, ' he wrote.

"To the best of my knowledge it's not a disbandment of the council altogether, but a dismissal of any pre-Trump nominees", he added, "which in my opinion might be more risky than not having a council at all".

PACHA members have had problems with the way Trump runs the council since he took office.

Cecilia Chung, an Obama-era appointee who left voluntarily after her term expired earlier this year, echoed these concerns.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

"Trump began the month by erasing LGBTQ people from his World AIDS Day statement, and ends it by firing all remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS", Sarah Ellis, CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, tweeted. "Like any administration, they want their own people there".

The Trump administration has pursued cuts to AIDS-related programs at home and overseas, for instance at the Centers for Disease Control and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, respectively.

Critics see the move as symbolic of Trump's inaction on HIV/AIDS: After almost a year, the White House has yet to appoint a director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, one of the factors that lead to the June resignations.