Marjorie Hill is the CEO of Gay Men's Health Crisis, the oldest AIDS service organization in the world. She is the first African American to become the head of a major LGBT organization. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist, having received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Adelphi University. Before joining GMHC, she worked for the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as well as former New York Mayor David Dinkins.
Question: What should be done domestically to combat the epidemic within the U.S.?
Marjorie Hill: Well you know it’s interesting that we do a lot of – we as a country have focused a lot on international AIDS. And there are problems across the seas in Sub-Sahara Africa, in the Ukraine, in Thailand, in Haiti—there are very high rates of infection. And for those countries in which the United States provides AIDS relief, there is a requirement that those countries develop a national plan.
Here in this country, 29 years into the epidemic, we did not have such a requirement for our own country. And so this July 13th, the President called for a national AIDS strategy, and there is an implementation plan that is due to the President just after World AIDS Day, so we’re looking for it shortly.
Question: How would you rate the Obama Administration on AIDS issues?
Marjorie Hill: Even before he was President, President Obama talked about HIV, talked about the importance of the individuals knowing their status, talked about the importance of resources, both here in this country and abroad, endorsed the National AIDS Strategy, he appointed a Director, the Office for National AIDS Policy. If I were gonna give this administration a grade around HIV and AIDS interventions and commitment to it, it would be an A minus. We still need more money.
Recorded November 4, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler