San Francisco Official Calls CDC Stop AIDS Project Investigation a ‘Witch Hunt,’ Washington Times Reports
The Washington Times reports that an official with the San Francisco mayor's office, writing to an Internet discussion group, said that a CDC investigation into the San Francisco-based Stop AIDS Project's HIV prevention programs is a "witch hunt." Luke Adams, a policy analyst in the Mayor's Office of AIDS & HIV Policy, wrote in a message to the Gay Men's Health Summit discussion group that CDC Director Julie Gerberding "is obviously playing political games on behalf of the Bush administration and certain members of Congress," adding, "I am appalled that they are willing to risk lives to attempt to drum up political capital" (Stacy McCain, Washington Times, 8/16). CDC investigators on Monday met with representatives of the Stop AIDS Project to determine whether the group violated federal law by using federal funds to "encourage sexual activity." The organization, which received $686,000 in federal funds in 2000, has sponsored workshops titled "Great Sex" and "Sex Toys for Leather Boys." Under regulations revised in 1992, groups cannot use CDC funds to support "education or information designed to promote or encourage, directly, homosexual or heterosexual sexual activity or intravenous substance abuse" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/14). Adams, who said in an interview with the Times that he thought his message was private and that it did not represent the views of the mayor's office, posted his message in response to a survey that was distributed by Stop AIDS Project to elicit testimonials from program participants about the organization's workshops. "The responses that were sent in prior to the CDC's visit were collected and provided to the team on Monday," Shana Krochmal, communications director for Stop AIDS Project, said (Washington Times, 8/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.