The New Face of AIDS

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President Obama is once again proving he takes America’s social crises seriously and with intelligence. This week he appointed Dr. Jeffrey Crowley (above) as the new head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. Crowley comes to the position with blue-chip experience in the AIDS/HIV arena, having served as Deputy Executive Director of Programs at the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) as well as Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute and a Senior Scholar at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

All good stuff.

Equally key, Crowley is Gay, which means he will hopefully bring a sense of personal passion and compassion to his new position.

While we applaud Pres. Obama’s move, it must be embraced with some reservations. While Crowley has sterling qualifications for his post, he has almost zero experience working with HIV and the African American community, according to an alert we received yesterday from the Black Aids Institute. Black people are less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but make up almost 50 percent of new HIV cases, HIV deaths and people living with HIV/AIDS in America. While the Institute is committed to working hand-in-hand with Crowley, its release is a call to Washington not to forget the hardest hit.

Right on!

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