Remembering Regina 'Gina' Quattrochi, Influential AIDS Activist and CEO of Bailey House
Regina "Gina" Quattrochi, AIDS activist and long-time CEO of Bailey House, died December 13 after a two-year battle with cancer.
After serving on the Bailey House board of directors for five years, Gina became its CEO in 1991, a position she held until her death. Under her leadership, Bailey House grew from a small agency that provided housing to those living with HIV to an $18-million-dollar organization that provides not just housing but also mental health care, treatment for substance use and care coordination. Her advocacy changed the way people looked at HIV care and helped foster an understanding that stable housing is as important as high-quality medical care to fighting the HIV epidemic.
Her belief that housing was a fundamental human right also led her to co-found the National AIDS Housing Coalition (NAHC) in 1993. NAHC works to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by ensuring that persons living with HIV/AIDS have quality, affordable and appropriate housing. Gina served on the board of that organization until her death.
Among her multiple honors, Gina was tapped by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014 to serve on the state's Task Force to End AIDS, which has the goal of bringing the number infections down to just 750 a year by 2020. At the time of her appointment, she said in a statement:
While it is an ambitious goal, the active participation by those of us on the front lines ensures that the plan will be reality-based and focused on ending the key drivers of HIV incidence, including poverty, homelessness, racism, gender-based health disparities and the criminalization of drug use.
On World AIDS Day 2016, just a few weeks before her death, Gina was recognized for her HIV/AIDS advocacy by the New York City Health Department in conjunction with the dedication of the New York City AIDS Memorial. She was also honored this month by Bridging Access to Care at its 2nd Annual World AIDS Day Benefit Gala.
Charles King, president and CEO of Housing Works, said in a statement:
With Gina's passing, I can't help but renew my own commitment to the fight against HIV, the fight for housing as a basic human right and the fight for health equity. She is another comrade fallen in the battle. And we who are left behind are compelled to take up that part of the fight that she carried so valiantly.
Well-known HIV activist Larry Kramer said:
All our lives will be poorer for the loss of this extraordinary person. She was the most noble of heroines. She fought not only for us, but for all of mankind.
Gina Quattrochi leaves behind two children.