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Josť Zuniga Appointed IAPAC Deputy Director

Zuniga: "I am excited about
helping IAPAC affect change."

July 2, 1997

Contact: IAPAC (312) 419-4652

CHICAGO - Citing the significant worldwide challenges posed by an evolving AIDS epidemic, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) today announced the appointment of media strategist and civil rights advocate José Zuniga as its deputy director. Zuniga is currently director of communications at AIDS Action, one of the nation's leading AIDS advocacy organizations. Zuniga joins IAPAC August 1.

"José brings extraordinary talent and dedication to tackling the complex challenges faced by national and international communities affected by HIV and other life-threatening diseases. He is tough, smart, visionary, and shares our view on the dimensions of the inequities in healthcare. Those qualities will allow him to step into this leadership position and become an effective voice for IAPAC and those we represent," said Gordon Nary, IAPACs executive director.

Nary added that Zuniga will "strengthen IAPACs ties to longtime partner AIDS Action Council and to other advocacy groups. José will also broaden the reach of our message to people worldwide through the U.S. and international media."

"José has served brilliantly in the inherently difficult job of defining and shaping public debate around AIDS at this point in the epidemic. His appointment is a major gain for IAPAC and for the international AIDS advocacy effort," said Daniel Zingale, AIDS Action's executive director. "We look forward to working with José in his new role at IAPAC."

During his tenure at AIDS Action, Zuniga developed political-media strategies that helped forward AIDS Action's public policy goals, including preserving Medicaid as a healthcare safety-net for people with HIV/AIDS. Zuniga also worked with AIDS Action and its 1,400 member organizations to build alliances between the AIDS community and the nation's larger healthcare/patient advocacy community. He worked with such coalitions as the Campaign for Health Security, the Patients' Coalition, and the National AIDS Communications Roundtable, on issues as varied as access to healthcare, FDA reform, and needle exchange.

"José's coalition work has helped make us smarter and more sensitive to the critical healthcare needs of us all. He will bring to IAPAC his passion and an unwavering commitment to meet the difficult challenges that lie ahead," said Cathy Hurwit, chairperson of the Campaign for Health Security, a coalition of more than 30 national groups advocating on healthcare security issues.

Zuniga, a former journalist and "political news junkie," wrote for several mainstream and alternative newspapers before joining AIDS Action in 1995. He is a former AIDS beat reporter for The Washington Blade, associate editor of San Francisco Frontiers Newsmagazine, and he reported for the San Antonio Express-News. Additionally, his articles and columns on AIDS and gay civil rights issues have been published in the Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, and The Advocate.

From 1989 to 1993, Zuniga served in the U.S. Army as editor of two U.S. Army publications. During his service in the Persian Gulf, Zuniga edited Cav Country, one of three military newspapers published in Saudi Arabia throughout Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Zuniga's work on Cav Country and his coverage of controversial issues, including AIDS in the military and sexual harassment, in the Star-Presidian earned him four Forces Command Fourth Estate awards. In 1992, he was named Sixth U.S. Army Soldier of the Year. A year later, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after disclosing that he is a gay man at the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Equal Rights and Liberation. Pocket Books published his autobiography, "Soldier of the Year," in 1994.

One of Zuniga's first projects at IAPAC will be to coordinate the association's First International Conference on Healthcare Resource Allocation for HIV/AIDS and Other Life-Threatening Diseases, November 10-11 in Washington, D.C. The conference, which is co-sponsored by AIDS Action and the Harvard AIDS Institute, will define and provide potential solutions to the access to care crisis faced by the world's population with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.

"As a leader in the international AIDS arena, IAPAC is a strong force around which advocates for AIDS care, HIV prevention, and political action can rally. IAPAC is thus in a position to affect change at a time of evolution, both in the science and politics of AIDS," Zuniga said. "I am excited about helping IAPAC affect that change on behalf of all people affected by HIV/AIDS."

IAPAC is devoted to developing and implementing global strategies to maximize the quality of life of all people with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. The association's membership includes thousands of physicians and healthcare professionals worldwide. IAPAC publishes two medical journals, including the monthly Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, and is launching, DemiMondaine, a magazine for immunocompromised women, in July. IAPAC also maintains a web site at

Contact: José Zuniga
Director of Communications
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, extension 3042
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.