New Washington, D.C., HIV/AIDS Administration Director Pane Announces Initiatives To Fight City’s Epidemic
The director of Washington, D.C.'s Administration for HIV Policy and Programs, Gregg Pane, who replaced Marsha Martin in January, has announced plans to launch a series of "critical tasks" within the next 90 days aimed at addressing the district's HIV/AIDS epidemic, the AP/Washington Examiner reports (AP/Washington Examiner, 2/4). District Mayor Adrian Fenty in January confirmed that he would not reappoint Martin as director of the city's HIV/AIDS administration. Martin's 16-month tenure as director of the HIV administration earned mixed reviews. Although she was lauded for increasing awareness about HIV/AIDS in the district, she was criticized for her method of collaborating and coordinating with the HIV/AIDS community (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/4). Pane's HIV/AIDS initiatives include developing response and prevention plans, increasing condom distribution and enhancing HIV/AIDS case tracking, according to the AP/Examiner. Under the campaign, the administration by mid-February will distribute 250,000 condoms to 60 not-for-profits, and HIV rapid test kits will be distributed to physicians. The administration also is developing a comprehensive HIV prevention plan that will target young people, assess grant management and conduct oversight visits of the government's service providers. In addition, Pane said that the administration plans to enter 1,200 backlogged HIV surveillance cases into city databases, which are needed to accurately record the extent of the epidemic and apply for federal grant money, the AP/Examiner reports. "I felt action was needed," Pane said last week, adding, "We're all saying it's a crisis. Let's do something. Shake it up and set some goals." The DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice contributed to planning the initiatives, Pane said. Appleseed Center Executive Director Walter Smith said, "My reaction is it's a very good thing that Dr. Pane this quickly is trying to get organized and give this thing high priority, high visibility" (AP/Washington Examiner, 2/4).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.