HIV/AIDS legacy omnipresent at first TBD working group meeting
David Michael Conner was in the audience yesterday at the first meeting of the federal Tick-Borne Diseases Working Group. He filed the following report for the Huffington Post. Another meeting will be held today.
December 12, 2017
…To say that the legacy of the AIDS epidemic was the pink paisley elephant in the room at yesterday’s Tick Borne Disease Working Group meeting would be an unthinkable understatement. Here’s a quick inventory of HIV/AIDS references:
- The Working Group is organized by the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.
- The Working Group’s designated federal officer, Richard Wolitski, “has worked for three decades as a manager, supervisor, and researcher studying HIV, STD and viral hepatitis risks and prevention.” Included with his biography among meeting handouts is a quote from Wolitski: “As someone living with HIV who experienced the early days of the epidemic before effective treatment existed, I empathize with many of these issues and ways that tick-borne disease has affected people and their families.”
- During the meeting, expert presentations and public comments were facilitated by Dazon Dixon Diallo, president and CEO of SisterLove, Inc, a women’s AIDS and reproductive justice nonprofit. Throughout her comments, Dixon Diallo repeatedly invoked the AIDS crisis and explained her involvement with the ACT UP organization responsible for making noise about HIV/AIDS devastation that it could no longer be ignored. She told meeting attendees that Lyme patients need the same level of self-advocacy. READ MORE.