July 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. earns ‘A’s, ‘B’s, one ‘C’ on AIDS report card
Appleseed report card, gay news, Washington Blade

Appleseed changed the grade for the city’s HIV testing program from A to A-. (Screen shot dcappleseed.org

The Appleseed Center, a local watchdog group that monitors city services, gave mostly ‘A’s and ‘B’s in its 7th annual report card assessing the D.C. government’s response to the AIDS epidemic in 14 specific categories.

The report card, released July 18, shows the city boosted its grade from B to B+ in the category of AIDS-related grants management. The grade rose from C- to B- in a category assessing the AIDS-related programs of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, which runs the public school system.

In the only case in which a grade went down compared to last year, Appleseed changed the grade for the city’s HIV testing program from A to A-. The group praised the city for continuing to increase the number of city supported HIV tests and praised AIDS office officials for offering more tests in “non-traditional locations.”

It attributed the slightly lower grade to the “unstable availability” of HIV testing kits that the city’s AIDS office has provided community based organization retained by contract to conduct HIV testing.

The lowest grade offered this year – a ‘C’ — went to the city’s charter schools. “The available information indicates that charter schools as a whole lag behind in many areas related to HIV/AIDS,” the report card says.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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