Congratulating the “AIDS Czar”
Donald G. McNeil reported in the New York Times this morning that Mark Dybul, “the Bush Administration’s global AIDS czar” was named as the new executive director of the Global Fund to Fight Aids. McNeil was surrounded by controversy during his stint with the Bush Administration related to abstinence policies and anti-prostitution pledges legislated by reactionary lawmakers. Furthermore he was required to enforce the Jesse Helms law a series of stigmatizing laws that restricted non-US citizens with AIDS from entering the country if they did not sign waivers that required them to provide invasive details about their health and be subjected to government surveillance as well as face deportation for compliance failures. China doesn’t even have laws like this. The only other countries that have such leper laws are Iraq, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Sudan and those laws by design individualize those who are to be excluded from category “normal.”
Dybul resigned in 2009 after the Obama Administration appointed Jeffrey Crowley to the position of director.
Congratulations and all Mark and best of luck to you and your projects but that sucks you’ve been referred to as the “AIDS czar.” Did that epithet stick after you got stuck between darling foreign policy liberals eager to “save Africa” and evangelicals eager to convert Africans, a strange one night stand that led to the following conditions to receiving US AID to combat AIDS: “a third of the money spent on prevention had to be used for teaching abstinence until marriage; groups getting funds, including those helping prostitutes, had to sign a pledge condemning prostitution; and no money could be spent on clean needles for drug addicts. In separate studies, the Government Accountability Office and the Institute of Medicine found that the abstinence earmark unnecessarily tied the hands of fund recipients, especially in countries where AIDS was concentrated among drug users and prostitutes.”
Remember what happened the last time a czar had his hands tied?