San Francisco, March 24, 2014 — San Francisco AIDS Foundation applauds President Obama’s selection of Douglas Brooks to become the next director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. We look forward to building on the momentum and evidence-based action plans created by his recent predecessors, Dr. Grant Colfax and Jeffrey Crowley, to chart the path toward an AIDS-free generation.
“Douglas is an inspiring leader who will capably guide our nation closer to the end of the HIV epidemic,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano. “He effectively uses his clinical social work expertise to tackle the many challenges facing all Americans at risk for or living with HIV/AIDS. Beyond his wealth of expertise and his proven track record of results, the fact that he is openly HIV positive sends an important signal to all people living with the disease that they have a voice at the highest level of government.”
The Office of National AIDS Policy provides essential leadership in addressing the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic and advancing the goals of President Obama’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The appointment comes at a pivotal moment in the trajectory of the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, when an increased focus on marginalized populations—particularly African-Americans—is essential to stopping the spread of the disease and improving health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African-Americans now outnumber all other groups nationwide in three key categories: new HIV diagnoses, people living with HIV, and deaths of persons with HIV.
“Douglas is the right person at the right time to step into this role,” said Ernest Hopkins, director of legislative affairs at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “As new infections increasingly concentrate in the African-American community, and especially among Black gay men, it is more important than ever that our young people see a future for themselves in the face of someone like Douglas so that they can harness their innate resilience to create healthy and successful lives.”
San Francisco AIDS Foundation worked closely with Brooks during his recent tenure as chair of the board of AIDS United and as a former member of the Executive Committee of the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition. We now look forward to continuing our work with him in the White House to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care for all people living with the disease, and eliminate HIV-related health disparities.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable.