Mark Dybul’s Removal–inevitable

Mark Dybul by all indications was as effective as an HIV/AIDS coordinator could be working for a narrow minded, religious right agenda driven administration. That being said it appears he compromised too often to be held over in the new administration.

This from Michelle Goldberg in the American Prospect:

“A gay man who had, in the past, donated to Democrats, Dybul seemed to pride himself on his ability to make common cause with conservatives. As global AIDS coordinator in the Bush White House, he often sided with allies like Rick Warren rather than with women’s-health advocates on issues ranging from abstinence to sex-worker outreach to family-planning funding.”

“Thus, while PEPFAR did miraculous things to treat and care for people with HIV — an expensive but relatively uncontroversial undertaking — it missed many opportunities to prevent new infections. Initially, at the administration’s behest, the legislation authorizing PEPFAR earmarked a third of the money dedicated to HIV prevention for abstinence and faithfulness programs, often run by religious groups. With other PEPFAR prevention funds directed toward things like mother-to-child transmission, very little was left over for comprehensive sex education and condom distribution. In fact, in order to fulfill the abstinence earmark, Dybul’s office told those in the field to devote a full two-thirds of the money available for the prevention of sexual transmission of HIV to programs encouraging chastity and fidelity.”

Medicynical note: An effective proponent of ineffective prevention policy is not an automatic reappointment candidate. As noted the abstinence mandate in the Bush/Dybul program corroded the effectiveness of the interventions. Dybul appears to have compromised what might work with the ineffective and scientifically flawed.

I’ve always felt that selling out the AIDS program to the religious right, who previously couldn’t even say the AIDS word, was a travesty. In that Dybul facilitated this sell out he didn’t deserve reappointment.

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