Washington, D.C., HIV/AIDS Administration ‘Must Be Vigilant’ in Oversight, Redirect Resources, Editorial Says
The newly appointed director of the Washington, D.C., HIV/AIDS Administration must help direct policies and resources "at what works, and legislative oversight must be vigilant" to curb the spread of HIV in the city, a Washington Times editorial says (Washington Times, 8/30). Department of Health Director Gregg Pane announced last week that Marsha Martin, executive director of the national AIDS advocacy group AIDS Action, will serve as the new director of the city's HIV/AIDS Administration. Pane earlier this month fired the former director amid questions about how the agency handled federal funds. The administration in June was criticized in an audit by the district's inspector general for its oversight of organizations that deliver services to HIV-positive residents. In addition, a report released earlier this month by the DC Appleseed Center found that the city's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been inadequate and poorly coordinated (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/25). "The long-standing problems prove that the [Mayor Anthony] Williams administration and the D.C. Council must work more closely with the private groups to resolve what can only be called a crisis," the editorial says, citing groups such as the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which recently experienced budget shortfalls. However, providing WWC with necessary funds to continue HIV/AIDS services "could be a mere stopgap measure," according to the editorial. The district has "several health-related lessons ... on which it can draw as it tackles the crisis over HIV/AIDS," the editorial says, concluding, "HIV/AIDS patients should not have to suffer because of the mistakes of slow-moving officials" (Washington Times, 8/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.