SF Weekly: Is Dufty HIV Poz?
Holds Meeting Tonite in Gay Bar
Holds Meeting Tonite in Gay Bar
The Castro's gay supervisor just can't get no respect today from the SF Weekly's Snitch column, which asks a privacy-invading question: Is the politician HIV poz? But given that the ads featuring Dufty are for an HIV prevention trial, I'd think many folks would assume he's negative and in the trial to tsay that way. I think it's cool he in the trial and the ads.
From the Weekly:
If Bevan Dufty were the frontman for a Hair Club for Men billboard, we'd assume he's bald. So what are we supposed to think when we see the District 8 supervisor as the poster boy for an HIV pill?
Not since Gavin Newsom and Fiona Ma -- the Prom King and Queen of San Francisco politics -- appeared together on a Hepatitis prevention ad right in the wake of Ruby Rippey-Tourk-gate have city politician and a disease been this awkwardly juxtaposed.
Dufty's star turn begs a pair of questions:
* Why isn't his name mentioned on the billboard?
* Does Dufty, the city's most prominent gay politician, have HIV?
Dufty can't answer the first question -- that was the decision of the marketing gurus. But he can definitely say no to the latter. Yet while his HIV tests are clean, his visage on the ads is not ...
The program Dufty is fronting -- at the behest of the city's Department of Public Health -- is a future study of whether the HIV-treatment drug Truvada can prevent gay or bisexual men from becoming infected in the first place.
And, as far as posing on a billboard that could lead onlookers to believe he's stricken with a life-threatening illness, it hardly rates as one of the more outlandish things he's been asked to do ...
By the way, two years ago Dufty was upset with DPH HIV prevention ads and even thought about holding a summit, can you believe it?, over the nastiness of the ads. As we all know, he is allergic to such summits in his districts and it never happened, but here is how the BAR reported on his opinion of the ads, before he was featured in one:
Supervisor Bevan Dufty said he endorses having a community-wide discussion about the tone of HIV prevention ads. He said he intends to bring his concerns to the HPPC at its January meeting.
"Rather than act autonomously, I am going to go to public comment at the first meeting in January and ask them how we can work together - whether it is a summit or whatever - to evaluate prevention campaigns, look at what the messages are, what the campaigns are, and what the public thinks about new ways that can be considered," said Dufty.
If you're not busy tonight, why not join Dufty and the DPH for a meeting, or something close enough to be considered a public forum on the HIV prevention trial. The event starts at 6 pm at the Outlook bar, and according to the gushing press release from DPH, available only in PDF format, there will be free booze and eats.
Even though this fun-filled evening is not the ideal situation at all for serious discussion about Dufty's failure to deliver town halls in the Castro on Prop 8, or the ongoing problems with AIDS policies of DPH, I do extend credit to him and the DPH for being creative like this in attracting a bar crowd tonight.
Now if we could only get Dufty to start holding a few town halls outside of the bars, I'd be pleased.
Click here to read the DPH release.