Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it. I want to remind you of life in the Bush administration...
For the record, UHU is one of our constituents. They are considered a model program that targets Black gay men. UHU is committed to improving the health and well being of Black gay men through innovative programs and services, and -- through a vision of inclusiveness -- to reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS in the entire Black community.
Without knowing the intention of these audits, the mere suggestion sent a pale though the AIDS community. There is nothing like the threat of an audit to get you to shut up. The grapevine worked overtime with rumors like:
According to Ron ...
In March 2002, the auditor arrived at his office. On the first day, she did an "intake interview" to tell him what to expect from the process and to answer questions. As the auditor begins to explain her process, she brings out a large bible. According to Ron, "this was not a small pocket sized bible, this was a big one that you saved for special occasions at church." The bible does not get mentioned, it just sits there throughout the intake interview. So begins a 14 month ordeal...
Six months after she first showed up on their doorsteps, the auditor hears staff talk about last Sunday's church service. When this individual goes to take a break, the auditor follows him. She let this staff member know that "you cannot be gay and Christian." She then proceeded to write scripture on the back of her church business card. You can't make this stuff up.
The staff member gave the business card to Ron (ED). Ron called the Inspector General's office and the auditor was replaced. Now they have to restart and recheck all the work. Six months after the original auditor came to UHU, a new auditor restarts the process.
Lest we forget, it matters who is in the White House. It matters who leads Congress. It matters who is the head of HHS. If we are going to fully fund ADAP and implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, we need leaders that support our values and understanding the challenges of fighting HIV/AIDS. So please vote. It matters!
Yours in the struggle,
National Minority AIDS Council
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