Press

Task Force Applauds Thurman Appointment And Urges Stronger White House Action To Curb Disease

Date: 
April 08, 1997

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) commends the President's appointment of a Sandra L. Thurman as Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy. Her background demonstrates extensive experience in and knowledge of HIV/AIDS issues. NGLTF urgesThurman and the President to take decisive action now on a range of critical concerns.

From 1988 to 1993, Thurman served as Executive Director of AID Atlanta, a community based organization providing health and support services to people with HIV/AIDS, including HIV prevention programs. She is currently a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and of the Georgia State AIDS Task Force, the Fulton County HIV Planning Council and the Executive Committee of Cities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR).

"We applaud the President's appointment of someone who is clearly experienced and knowledgeable on HIV/AIDS issues to be the new Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy," said Kerry Lobel, Executive Director of NGLTF. "The Task Force calls upon Thurman and the Administration to work with Congress to lift the ban on the use of federal funds for needle exchange programs, oppose H.R. 1062, the regressive legislation introduced by Rep. Coburn, R-OK, that would, among other things require states to adopt mandatory HIV testing laws - even the National Governors' Association has declared its opposition to this legislation, and work for full funding for AIDS research, prevention, health care and housing initiatives," she announced. "We also urge Thurman and the President to continue to oppose cuts or other changes to Medicaid--such as imposing a cap on federal payments per beneficiary--which would eliminate access to health care for the poor, including people with HIV and AIDS," added Lobel.

According to Lobel, "this appointment is but one step in the process toward a bold and effective national AIDS strategy. We look forward to working with the new director and the Administration towards that end."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.