Sunday, October 27, 2013

Merger? SF's HIV Prevention & Treatment Councils' 10/28 Meeting

When my friend Hank Wilson was alive and we were attending the monthly HIV Prevention Planning Council and Ryan White CARE Act councils, along with their many various committees, to exert influence as persons with AIDS and consumers of services at AIDS Inc groups funded by the councils. At times, Hank and I would split up attending meetings separately to prevent stress and burnout, and make sure at least one of us was present to use public comment.

We pushed for merging the councils for a host of reasons. Better coordination between the federal agencies funding the councils and service agencies to meet the needs of consumers, via the guidance of the SF Department of Public Health. Less burden on PWAs and activists not working for AIDS Inc to carve out time and expend energy getting to and participating in council meetings.

Over the years, AIDS Inc folks have also embraced the calls for at least expanded and formal coordination between the councils, and the radical idea to merge them into one occasionally comes up for discussion. With the scaling back of federal HIV dollars and programs, increasing needs of PWAs who are living longer and genuine structural innovation required to reflect the reality of HIV today in San Francisco, it's time to create a single council.

On Monday, October 28, the prevention council is holding its regular quarterly meeting at 3:00 pm at the SF DPH AIDS Office at 25 Van Ness Avenue on the 6th floor.

At 4:30 pm at the same location is when the prevention and Ryan White councils will hold their semi-annual joint meeting. On the agenda is developing more cooperation between the councils.

What's the big ticket item on the agenda? This is what will be bringing a substantial crowd to the joint meeting, according to DPH's site: Collaborative Planning Presentation Jurisdictional Plan Update.

Click here to read the full agenda, which has ample opportunities for public comment which I will take advantage of. I expect not just a long meeting but one that is also lively and productive, all to directly benefit people living with HIV/AIDS and gay men's wellness.

1 comment:

Liz Highleyman said...

But the care and prevention councils have different constituencies. By definition the prevention council, and prevention funding streams, are not providing services for people with HIV.