Some of the dishonesty, denial and lack of transparency from the dwindling number of leaders at the National Association of People With AIDS can to an end today with the announcement that the group is kaput. Even at this point, after years of being opaque and issuing verbiage to obscure the failures, NAPWA say it is only suspending operations in its headline.
In the past few days, I have emailed and left vmail for Tyler TerMeer, the board chair who runs the Ohio AIDS Coalition, and Vallerie Wagner, the board vice chair who works at AIDS Project Los Angeles. I've wanted to follow up on my previous NAPWA reporting here, here, here and here.
TerMeer emailed me finally:
I received the message that you gave me a call today. My apologies, I have been in meetings all day. The NAPWA website has been updated today with an announcement, which I have also attached for you. This announcement will also go out to the NAPWA e-mail membership list.
Posted a short time ago:
The National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) – the largest, oldest, and most trusted voice for the 1.2 million People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the U.S. –has ceased operations and has filed a petition in United States Bankruptcy Court to discharge its debts in bankruptcy and liquidate.
United States Bankruptcy Court
District of Maryland
In re National Association of People with AIDS, Inc
Case No. 13-12525
The rest of the release is useless shameless self-congratulations. What people with AIDS, former donors and vendors, and the general public need are for NAPWA to either link to that filing or post it to their site, explain why they are now out of business, the status of any criminal investigations or federal audits regarding contracts, and if they intend to ever speak forthrightly with the PWA community.
So many lessons must be learned from the years of dysfunction, the coopting of the group by the CDC, too much influence over the agenda by AIDS service organizations and HIV negative persons.
It will take a push from PWAs, the gay and AIDS press and blogosphere, and nonprofit watchdogs to make transparent the decisions and people who have destroyed NAPWA.