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HIV/AIDS orgs respond to Obama’s HIV/AIDS Strategy

Following release of National HIV/AIDS Strategy

By Antoine Craigwell

(Wednesday, July 14, 2010) – Paul Kawata, executive director of the National Minority AIDS Council, posted on the social networking site, Facebook, a letter signed by 180 national and community organizations at the forefront of the fight against HIV and AIDS. This letter was in response to the announcement and release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) yesterday.

The text of the letter below:

Honorable Barack H. Obama
President, United States Of America
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear President Obama,

On behalf of the180 national and community based organizations (see list below) on the front lines of this epidemic, thank you for your leadership and commitment to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Each of us stands here in the footprints of so many heroes we’ve lost to HIV/AIDS. Our friends who fought so hard in the early days could probably never imagine a President holding a reception at the White House to honor the HIV/AIDS community. Most would have loved to be part of this event. We miss them and will never forget the sacrifices they made so that we can be here today.

In the first 18 months of your administration the travel ban on those living with HIV was removed, restrictions on the use of federal funds to support needle exchange were removed, the Ryan White Care Act was reauthorized, and $30.4 Million was set aside as part of the Prevention and Wellness Fund for HIV/AIDS Prevention. However, we’ve also had our challenges in ensuring adequate funding for PEPFAR and other international HIV/AIDS initiatives.

As you implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), we ask that the first thing you address is the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) funding crisis. We appreciate the $25 million to see us through September 30, 2010. We are concerned that is not a long-term solution and will only get us through a limited period. As of Jul 8, 2010, 2,291 individuals are on waiting lists. This number does not include individuals in states that don’t keep waiting lists, have significantly reduced the drug formulary, or have significantly changed the income eligibility levels. On Jul 1, Georgia became the 12th state to close enrollment and start a waiting list. Ohio changed its income eligibility levels so that more then 1,000 HIV/AIDS patients will lose their benefits. New Jersey also changed its income eligibility levels so that 947 HIV/AIDS patients will lose their benefits. Without an immediate solution, other states will follow.

As you consider solutions, please make it [funding for ADAP] multi-year funding through 2014, support states that don’t keep waiting lists but have closed enrollment or that are on the brink of a waiting list, ensure that all the necessary drugs are covered, and [the] integration of a permanent solution into health care reform.

We look forward to the reviewing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the opportunity to work with your administration to ensure its implementation across the country. Thank you for your support and leadership.

Sincerely,

2 God B The Glory, Inc     A Brave New Day     A Family Affair

ACT UP Philadelphia     Action for a Better Community    Advocates For Youth

African American Hispanic Health Education Resource Center

AID For AIDS Nevada      AIDS Alabama

AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families

AIDS Care Services, Inc.   AIDS Community Research Initiative of America

AIDS Foundation of Chicago    AIDS/HIV Services Group (ASG)

The AIDS LIFE Campaign   AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin

AIDS Project of Central Iowa     AIDS Resources of Rural Texas

AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC)      Albany Damien Center

Amanda Beck-Myers     Ananias      Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Asian Media Access     Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center

Aspirations Wholistic Tutorial Services     Baton Rouge AIDS Society

Bienestar Human Services    Black AIDS Institute

The Black Women’s Health Imperative     Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Paul Browne       CAEAR Coalition      CALOR

Camden NJ Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Camillus Health Concern, Inc.    CARES     CareSouth Carolina

Cascade AIDS Project        Central City AIDS Network, Inc.

Central Illinois FRIENDS of People with AIDS

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

William H. Chastang Consumer Advocate/Outreach Coordinator

Christie’s Place, Inc.        Citywide Project/Citywide Ministries

Coai, Inc.       Community Access National Network

Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)

Community Information Center, Inc.        Comprehensive Health Education

Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition         DeKalb Prevention Alliance, Inc

Desert AIDS Project         Gregory W. Edwards, EdD

Eternal Hope Community Development Corporation, Inc.

Family Heath & AIDS Care Services International     Family Health Project

Family Planning Association of Puerto Rico        F.L.A.S., INC.

Fort Worth Northside Community Health Center, Inc.

Greater Love Tabernacle    Gregory House Programs    GROUP Ministries, Inc.

Harlem United Community AIDS Center      Harmony House, Inc.

Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation     Hermanas de Luna y Sol    HEROES

HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two, Inc.

HIV/AIDS Services for African Americans in Alaska    HIV-AIDS UETS

HIV Care Program       HIVictorious, Inc.

HIV Planning Council Santa Clara County      Housing Works

Illinois Alliance for Sound AIDS Policy       Iris House

Johns Hopkins Local Performance Site

PA/MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center

Monica Johnson, NMAC Board Member

Lambda Legal     Lark Lands, M.S., Ph.D.       H.O.P.E.

The LaStraw, Inc.      Latino Commission on AIDS

Latino Community Services

Helen Lemay, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita, Stony Brook University

Liberty Research Group

Don Little, MPH, Former Chair of the Oklahoma Native American AIDS Coalition

The Living Room     LMPHW Specialty Clinic

Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education

Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center

Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Action Group

Michigan Positive Action Coalition (MI-POZ)

Minnesota AIDS Project

Minority AIDS Council of Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Calhoun Council, Inc.

Missoula AIDS Council             M OCHA Center Inc.

Multicultural AIDS Coalition, Inc.       he NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt

Native Health             National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.

National AIDS Fund         National AIDS Housing Coalition

National Association of People with AIDS

National Association of Social Workers

National Latino AIDS Action Network          National Minority AIDS Council

National Native American AIDS Prevention Center

NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training

New Jersey Women and AIDS Network        New Destiny Recovery Ministry

New York AIDS Coalition          New York City AIDS Housing Network

Nightsweats & T-cells, Co          North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic         One Heartland       One Love Project

Open Door Clinic        Leonardo Ortega, NMAC Board Member

David G. Ostrow, MD, PhD              Partnership Project

Choyce Perkinds, Advocate For AAHHERC           Positive Efforts, Inc

Project Aware at Stanley Street Treatment & Resources

PROCEED, Inc.      Project HANDLE, Neighborhood House         Project Lazarus

Project Link of South Florida, Inc.       Proyecto SOL Filadelfia

Puerto Rico Community Network for Clinical Research on AIDS (PR CoNCRA)

Andre Weatherby Rawls     Recovery 2000, Inc.       Redemption Outreach Intl

Regional AIDS Project

Genevieve Rohan, FNP-C, AAHIVMS and Tegest Hailu, MD, AAHIVMS, Hailu/Rohan Family Practice

SAYFSM          Vanessa Sasso, Seattle HIV/AIDS Planning Council

Shanti

S.H.A.P.E. (Stop HIV/AIDS and Addiction through Prevention and Education)

Carlton R. Smith, Baltimore Black Pride, Inc. Founder, Churches United Against AIDS; Board chair

South Carolina Campaign to End AIDS (SC-C2EA)

South Central Educational Development, Inc.   South Jersey AIDS Alliance

South LA Access Center        Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC)

Southwest Louisiana AHEC         Stanley Street Treatment & Resources

Street Works       St. Luke AME Church/ Treat Me Right Inc.

Suburban HIV/AIDS Consortium (SHAC)

TACTS-THE Association of Clinical Trials Services

Tampa-Hillsborough Action Plan           C. Taylor

Ti-chee Native AIDS Prevention Project          Rose Todd-Stanford

Total Health Awareness Team            Treat Me Right Inc.

Treatment Access Expansion Project          Treatment Action Group

Two Spirit Society of Denver            U Can Do It 2!

Evelyn Ullah, NMAC Board Member            Us Helping Us

Valley AIDS Information Network Inc.

Vermont CARES        VillageCare

Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge

West County Health Centers, Inc.             Who’s Positive          Willis Center

The Women’s Collective      Women’s Health Center

Women Together For Change           Women Watch Afrika, Inc

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July 14, 2010 Posted by | African-American News, Black Gay Men, Black Gay Men Health, Black Men, Black Men Health, Caribbean, Caribbean Community, community, Elderly LGBT, Health, HIV, HIV Status, LGBT community, LGBT Immigrant rights, LGBT Rights, LGBT Seniors, Male Health, Obama, Politics, Public Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama in exclusive interview with Black gay magazine

Obama a friend to gays and lesbians.
By A.B. Craigwell

New York, NY — Oct 24—In a statement of commitment, not only to the Black gay community but as a response to questions about his position on gays, Senator Barack Obama, a 2008 presidential candidate, recently granted an exclusive interview with PULSE, a magazine produced by Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD), a New York-based social service and advocacy agency.
More recently, however, on Oct 23, the Associate Press (AP) reported that there have been calls for Sen. Obama to distance himself from the gospel singer and minister, Donnie McClurkin, who is among several other gospel singers scheduled to perform in a concert in South Carolina this weekend. According to AP, McClurkin has elicited the ire of gays around the country with his views on homosexuality.
Obama, in a response, carried by AP, to the calls, ‘said he believes gays and lesbians are “our brothers and sisters” and should be afforded the same respect, dignity and rights granted all other citizens.’
In the interview with PULSE, Obama addressed issues such as the “Don’t ask Don’t tell” stance about gays in the military; homelessness and violence affecting gay youth; homophobia in the healthcare system; and the elimination of the “F” word (faggot or fag) along with the “N” and “B” words from common usage.
Interviewed by Tokes Osubu, executive director of GMAD, and Robert Crawford, associate publisher for PULSE, Obama said that he fully supports the repeal of the “Don’t ask Don’t tell policy, where the real test for the military is found in its sense of duty, patriotism and willingness to serve. He referred to the 2005 General Accounting Office (GAO) report, which said that the policy has resulted in significant loss of qualified service members for critical occupations and who have important language skills.
“I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces,” said Obama.
He said that while the issue of homelessness and the perpetration of violence against gay youth are at crisis levels, gays and lesbians who make up 3% to 5% of the general population “account for 20% of homeless youth under age 21 in many urban areas.” Obama said that many young men and women face difficulties in their development, including rejection from family and friends, harassment, violence from peers, rejection from adults, HIV risks, and substance abuse.
“I believe we have to do more to ensure that we have adequate resources and support structures to nourish and encourage gay and lesbian youth, as well as all young people,” Obama said. He called attention to the cuts in funding to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act and for funding restoration for the Community Development Block Grant program. “As president,” he said, “ I will fund these programs and ensure that we have adequate funding and support for homeless youth.”
With respect to the homophobia in the healthcare system and the Ryan White Care Act, Obama said, “We must continue to fund this vital program. It is a program that provides access to life-saving treatment and care for over half a million low-income Americans with HIV/AIDS.” He said in his campaign he proposed an affordable universal healthcare plan for all Americans.
“I will create a new national health program that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable healthcare similar to that available to federal employees. No one will be turned away or charged more due to illness, and everyone who needs it will receive a subsidy for their premiums,” Obama said. The creation of a National Health Insurance Exchange, he said, is a way of reforming the private health insurance market so that any American could enroll in participating private plans and provide comprehensive benefits, issue every applicant a policy, and charge fair and stable premiums.
Weighing into and adding another letter to the controversy surrounding the use of the “N” and “B words,” Obama said, “I find the “F word” just as reprehensible as the “N and B words”, it too has no place in a tolerant America.” He said that all Americans have witnessed a coarsening of the culture that everyone has to think about. The entertainment industry has played a role, he said, “but in many ways we have to accept personal responsibility and begin to condemn discriminatory and derogatory insults, wherever they may arise.” ###

October 24, 2007 Posted by | Obama, Politics | , , , | 2 Comments