The Sexist

Vince Gray Won’t “Over Promise” to HIV/AIDS Director

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Mayoral candidate Vince Gray explains what he wants from a D.C. HIV/AIDS director in the wake of Dr. Shannon Hader's sudden departure from HAHSTA last month [via Fight HIV in DC]. He's looking for "the best possible person" that he doesn't have to lie to:

I want to recruit the best possible person for the position. It has to be someone who understands the virus and who understands how to work with people. There are many communities concerned about HIV/AIDS. And there has been a lot of volatility over the years. We want someone who is willing to go out in the community and recruit others with the same kind of commitment. And then try to understand what resources have been lacking and the extent to which we could fix that. One thing I won’t do is over promise to people because you lose your credibility. You may have attracted someone because you made certain promises. It’s devastating to say ‘I know we promised you this but I’m sorry we can’t deliver'. You wind up with a soured relationship.

Is Gray suggesting that the District couldn't deliver on its promises to its last HIV/AIDS director? A recent op-ed in the Washington Blade posits that Hader received "little support" from the District, and that her "hands were tied" by a "local government that lacked the funds and the vision to realize the full potential of a more integrated, multi-agency approach needed to address this public health emergency." It's certainly going to be difficult to sugarcoat D.C.'s HIV/AIDS crisis for potential candidates. Without promises of additional resources, will the District be able to snag a director that's nearly as effective as Hader?

  • kza

    Does it really matter who's in charge? What can they do to stop AIDs from spreading?

  • blkwrestl

    What needs to be discussed is how can we get people to be more sexually responsible. How many PSA's, free condoms, bike a thons walk a thons, etc. are needed before people realize that having unprotected and other forms of unsafe sex will cause HIV/AIDS. There needs to be a discussion as to why is it ok for the new glory hole to open or crew club to remain open when unsafe sex practices is occuring in those establishments. The same goes for the sex sites as well and the videos were barebacking is promoted. There is a cetain allure that people have with this type of behavior and it is promoting their demise. More research is needed to find a cure for this deadly disease but people have got to be more responsible plain and simple.

  • Rick Mangus

    At this point anyone is better, look at the stats, it borders on being criminal!

  • drsnacks

    I'm with blkwrestl. Shame & blame. "Scientists" may look at HIV as a dispassionate epidemic but most people don't realize it's a moral judgement. We simply don't talk enough about personal responsibility regarding a highly politicized, hyper-stigmatized, relatively new virus contained almost exclusively to socially undervalued groups.