- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2001

A longtime proponent of sexual abstinence education has been named executive director of a panel that will inform the White House on HIV/AIDS issues.
Patricia Funderburk Ware's "diverse experience and commitment to helping individuals revitalize their lives and communities" will further the goals of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said Nov. 30, the eve of World AIDS Day.
The council, known as PACHA, was created in 1995 by the Clinton administration to offer recommendations on HIV/AIDS programs, policies, research, prevention and treatment to the White House and federal agencies.
Mrs. Ware, who has several college degrees, has worked on family and adolescent health issues much of her life. She directed the federal Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs during the first Bush administration, and was educational director for Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy.
"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," she once testified to a House committee.
Shepherd Smith, president of the Institute for Youth Development, praised the appointment. "Having worked closely with Pat for years, there are few who are better informed on the issue, few who can reach communities that are most impacted with the most appropriate messages, and probably no one better qualified for the position at this time than Pat Ware," said Mr. Smith.
Other advocates took a wait-and-see approach.
"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," said Christopher Labonte, health policy analyst at Human Rights Council, a major advocacy group for homosexual rights.
"But I think she's going to a body that has advocated for a number of positive policies, so I really hope that under her tenure at PACHA, they will continue to go forward," said Mr. Labonte. Positive policies included promoting needle-exchange programs and making Medicaid and prescription drugs more available to AIDS sufferers.
PACHA, which is currently led by former Rep. Ron Dellums, California Democrat, can have up to 35 members who serve four-year terms.
Although the Bush administration hasn't announced any new PACHA appointments, there will be significant turnover, predicted Terje Anderson, executive director of the National Association of People With AIDS.
"A fair amount has been accomplished" in the last six years, said Mr. Anderson, who is an original member of PACHA but has not been asked to stay for another term.

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