|AIDS Day Report Card 2000
|Treatment, Research & Access|
|William Reynolds Archer III, Texas Health Commissioner||F|
|He came under fire earlier this year for racist comments he made when questioned about the woeful Texas health care system. Now a report on state efforts to provide adequate treatments for people with AIDS shows that Texas, compared with the other states with high HIV incidence rates, is dead last.|
|This Medicare HMO in Minnesota denied members access to a clinic specializing in care for HIV, prompting the state health department to levy the heaviest fine allowable under state law.|
|Immune Response Corporation||D|
|Trying to gauge the efficacy of Remune, its HIV vaccine, Immune Reponse funded one of the largest HIV treatment studies ever conducted. But when the results showed the vaccine was a failure, the company, based in San Diego, California, sued the universities and researchers involved and tried to block them from publishing the findings.|
|United States Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Dick Gephardt, and Senator Robert Torricelli||A|
|These Democratic lawmakers are leading the charge in Congress with the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which would allow states to expand Medicaid coverage for asymptomatic individuals with HIV.|
|Charlie Condon, Attorney General of South Carolina||F|
|Moralizing maniac on a misguided mission against Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-created AIDS prevention materials (which he declared illegal for tolerating premarital sex), Condon is now questioning each school district in South Carolina to ensure they do not use the CDC's materials.|
|Edward Egan, Archbishop of New York||F|
|"Try decency, try chastity, try Western Civilization, or," Egan once advised New York schools, "wait for AIDS to put an end to us all." With controversial ties to the religious right, the new leader of New York's 2.4 million Roman Catholics may be a bigger barrier than his predecessor to HIV prevention efforts -- even as the city's poorest AIDS patients continue to flock to his hospitals.|
|Paul Cellucci, Governor of Massachusetts||D|
|This "compassionate conservative" has had a strong record on gay civil rights, yet he vetoed a bill this year that would have decriminalized possession of syringes in his state. Yo, Paul: clean needles save lives!|
|Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences||B|
|Improving after its discriminatory recommendations last year to weaken informed consent standards for testing pregnant women, the Institute this year called for effective prevention policies -- including real sex education, condom availability, and clean syringe programs -- and criticized ineffective programs like abstinence-only education. The report also called for increased funding for prevention, and denounced HIV case reporting as an ineffective means of getting a true picture of who is infected or at risk. Memo to CDC: are you listening?|
|Richard Zaldivar, Community Activist||A|
|As executive director of The Wall/Las Memorias Project, this Los Angeles activist broke ground this year for a memorial to Latinos who have died from AIDS, raising awareness about the impact of the disease on the Latino community.|
|Rudy Galindo, United States Figure Skating Champion||A|
|The first openly gay professional figure skater, Galindo broke yet another barrier in April when he disclosed he is HIV positive. He's already lost a brother and two coaches to AIDS, and like a true champion, he's risen to the occasion, becoming a spokesperson for the National Minority AIDS Council.|
|Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation||A|
|Its study in September confirmed that a majority of parents across the country want expanded sex education programs in schools -- just the latest in a long series of sound, useful reports on AIDS issues released by the Foundation.|
|Dick Gottfried and James Lack, New York State Legislators||A|
|Sponsored legislation that made the state the eighth in the country to deregulate the sale and possession of syringes. True heroes in the fight against AIDS.|
|Discrimination, Civil Rights & The Law|
|United States Supreme Court||Inc.|
|Having struck down federal civil rights protections against age discrimination and gender-based violence, the High Court now has its sights trained on the Americans with Disabilities Act. What is in store for people with HIV and other disabilities who depend on the ADA's protections?|
|Centre County (Pennsylvania) Department of Children and Youth Services||F|
|The agency assumes that foster children would sexually assault a child with HIV if they were placed in the same home, so it barred placements of HIV-negative children of any age in any foster family where someone is HIV positive. Now, even in the midst of a critical shortage of good foster homes, the agency is defending the discriminatory policy and shameful stereotypes in court.|
|Michigan State Legislature||F|
|Michigan lawmakers, trying to short-circuit a lawsuit challenging a policy barring placements of inmates with HIV in residential programs, changed state civil rights statutes specifically to exclude prisons.|
|Blood Products Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration||F|
|Despite the worst blood shortage in years, this committee failed to show leadership. Its members refused to recommend lifting the ban on blood donations by any man who has had sex with another man, even once, since 1977.|
|Los Angeles Police Department||F|
|Still reeling from police corruption scandals, the department has another controversy on its hands. Its policy of denying licenses to HIV-positive massage therapists is rubbing people the wrong way.|
|Immigration and Naturalization Service||C+|
|The INS has quietly begun to allow some people with AIDS into the U.S. for treatment purposes. We're still waiting for the political will to rescind the ban outright.|
|Mark Schoofs, Journalist||A|
|Winner of a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for "AIDS: The Agony of Africa," his series for The Village Voice, this New York journalist shed light on the personal and societal devastation of AIDS in Africa. Maybe international discussions he sparked will raise similar awareness about the impact of AIDS on communities of color in the U.S.|
|Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, Internet Activist||A|
|A former Navy Chief Petty Officer and a transgendered nun who founded her own religious order, she is the driving force behind AEGiS.com, the largest computer database of AIDS resources available to activists, people with AIDS, and care providers. Day in and day out, she works from a single room in her parents' home in Southern California, culling and posting up-to-the-minute information on her award-winning, highly respected Web site. A divine inspiration to us all.|
|Key To Grades
- A for achievement and vital results in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
- B for better than average effort, with room for improvement.
- C for compromise -- a cowardly act when over 34.3 million people have HIV worldwide.
- D for damaging decisions with dangerous consequences.
- F for flunkies, who failed to help, or even stood in the way, prolonging suffering as the epidemic rages.
- Incomplete for incomplete, inconsistent, and inadequate.