President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worked has previously expressed his belief that AIDS is God’s judgment upon homosexuals and spread through the U.S. due to lax family values.
[Dr. Robert] Redfield's early engagement with the AIDS epidemic in the US in the 1980s and 90s was controversial. As an Army major at Walter Reed Medical Institute, he designed policies for controlling the disease within the US military that involved placing infected personnel in quarantine and investigating their pasts to identify and track possible sexual partners. Soldiers were routinely discharged and left to die of AIDS, humiliated and jobless, often abandoned by their families.
Redfield also worked closely with the Christian organization Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy (ASAP) in the 1980s.
The group maintained that AIDS was "God's judgment" against homosexuals, spread in an America weakened by single-parent households and loss of family values.
Redfield wrote the introduction to a 1990 book, "Christians in the Age of AIDS," co-written by Smith, in which he denounced distribution of sterile needles to drug users and condoms to sexually active adults, and described anti-discrimination programs as the efforts of "false prophets."
Rolling into the 90s, Redfield and ASAP supported a House bill – H.R. 2788, sponsored by ultra conservative Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-Calif.) – that would have subjected HIV positive individuals to “testing, loss of professional licenses and would have effectively quarantined them.”
In 1992, Redfield, then a colonel, was part of a Walter Reed team backing an AIDS vaccine called VaxSyn, manufactured by a Connecticut company, MicroGeneSys. Redfield claimed that a small clinical trial had shown VaxSyn to protect the immune systems of infected soldiers, limiting the worst outcomes of AIDS.
Because this was a clear exaggeration, the Army investigated Redfield, eventually concluding he had made an innocent mistake. Redfield continued to strongly support VaxSyn, pushing Congress to fund a $20 million clinical trial on HIV-positive men. But VaxSyn never worked, and no fine-tuning in its biochemistry could have made a difference.