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AIDS group NAPWA declares bankruptcy

Source says Md. prosecutor investigating after funds go missing



Frank Oldham, NAPWA, National Association of People With AIDS, National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, gay news, Washington Blade

Former President of the National Association of People with AIDS Frank Oldham, Jr. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

With creditors owed more than $750,000, the National Association of People with AIDS filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Thursday and announced it is going out of business 30 years after it was founded in 1983.

“The National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) – the largest, oldest, and most trusted voice for the 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. – has ceased operations and has filed a petition in United States Bankruptcy Court to discharge its debts in bankruptcy and liquidate,” the chair of the group’s Board of Trustees, Tyler TerMeer, said in a Feb. 14 statement.

The two-page statement highlights NAPWA’s pioneering work on behalf of the rights and wellbeing of people with HIV and AIDS but provides no further information on how NAPWA’s financial health deteriorated to the point where the group was forced into bankruptcy.

One source familiar with NAPWA and some of its board members said the bankruptcy filing follows reports late last year that as much as $700,000 in NAPWA funds was either missing or unaccounted for.

According to the source, the discovery that funds were unaccounted for prompted the board to ask the Montgomery County States Attorney’s office to investigate the matter.

Ramon Korionoff, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, would neither confirm nor deny his office was investigating NAPWA’s finances, saying the office never discloses an ongoing investigation.

Questions about the reported missing funds surfaced at a time when NAPWA was facing a financial crisis that, among other things, prevented it from paying the rent for its Silver Spring, Md., offices for several months and prevented it from meeting its payroll.

The bankruptcy filing shows that many of NAPWA’s former employees are listed as creditors who are owed sums of money ranging from several hundred dollars to more than $4,000.

NAPWA’s landlord, Brookfield Properties, is owed $75,000 in back rent, according to the bankruptcy filing.

Last October, Frank Oldham, who served as NAPWA’s president and CEO since 2006, announced his resignation effective Dec. 31. But Oldham left his post in November, one month earlier than expected, sources familiar with the group said, raising speculation that he was forced out by the board.

In what the group called a restructuring initiative to cut costs, the board dismissed NAPWA’s Executive Vice President Stephen Bailous, in November.

In December, NAPWA Board Chair TerMeer told the Blade the board eliminated the positions of executive vice president, vice president for development, and vice president for communications as a “cost cutting measure” in November. He declined to comment on whether Oldham was forced out a month sooner than his announced resignation date, saying the organization never discusses personnel matters.

Oldham and Bailous couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Among the creditors listed in the bankruptcy filing is the District of Columbia HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and Sexually Transmitted Disease Administration (HAHSTA), which reportedly is owed $54,000. It couldn’t immediately be determined why NAPWA owes money to the D.C. AIDS administration. However, NAPWA has received grants and contracts from HAHSTA in recent years to provide AIDS-related services.

In a Dec. 5 open letter to the community, TerMeer for the first time mentioned publicly that NAPWA was having financial problems.

“These are difficult times for the nonprofit sector,” he said. “This is no less true for local, state and national AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs), which across the United States are struggling to retain services and keep their doors open. These challenging times present new opportunities to focus on excellence, bring new accountability, promote re-organization for long-term stability and implement strategic vision,” he said.

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  1. Tom

    February 15, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Sad, clearly Oldham was using the Graham model. Thankfully we were able to save Whitman Walker even though it took 10 years to clean up the mess Graham left behind.

    • John Pickwick

      March 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Why is this happening to such a great NGO???
      There needs to be a major investigation as to how $750.000 went missing! Who’s hand was in the till? I think everyone’s personal finances need to be looked into starting at the top. Can one man or group of people destroy 30 years of work.

      Can’t the government offer a bailout? Hell they give it to less deserving banks. 750.000 is not that much that the gov. Can’t say here let’s keep this vital agency going.

      This is a sad day for People living with HIV/AIDS what next???

  2. Tom

    February 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

    How old is this picture? Isn’t that Mayor Kelly?

    • Michael Key

      February 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      [photo editor’s note] Tom: the photo is from the National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event at Freedom Plaza in September of 2012, which is the most recent photo that I have of Oldham. Good eye though; that is indeed Sharon Pratt Kelly in the background.

  3. Frederick Wright

    February 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    NAPWA the organization has been a good group to move lifesaving treatment and policy forward for many years for AIDS’ people. However the times are changing and AIDS has become big business and a big brand for many to make Billions of Dollars for the likes of Drug Companies, LAB COMPANIES, Doctors, and Universities, as it is now too. As the pile of money from D.C gets smaller, not larger any more than groups are going to fight to keep their piece of the AIDS’ pie. Local ASO or AIDS Service organizations, like Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs will not invest in NAPWA, do to fear that their money will be taken away from picking a losing team, for they are in bed with Drug Companies, LAB companies, Universities and Walgreens, plus they do not want to empower their clients for this would make them think and could make them turn on these ASO’s leaders or what I call investors to know the truth of these big businesses that branded AIDS, while skimming off the top for their personal money pleasure, under the fake concept of a non-profit. The lines are drawn in the sand for some years and just now coming to the surface. I like to call it an AIDS mafia and if you do not play ball with the big boys or have something to offer, then one could be crushed like NAPWA. For many know in D.C it is all about what can you do for me and if you do not have major donors or a vision for major donors then they do not need the likes of NAPWA anymore, for that is the D.C way. HIV people that do not have AIDS are not coming out with their voice for these HIV people are living and moving forward to fight daily not to have an AIDS branded on them. I do not believe we should ever forget AIDS; however we should move forward to rebrand the term in an inclusive light of HIV that is focused on HEALING and a CURE. It is time to leave the depression of AIDS and move forward to live and heal. It is a new time for a new vision for AIDS as a brand or in the name of a group, for it has no power anymore to bring in new monies, but still invokes fear and stigma like putting gas on a fierier. I believe it is time to move past the depression and angry of AIDS and move into an inclusive term of HIV and bury AIDS forever, not the people, but the out date term called AIDS that has caused so much pain and trauma in our local communities.

    • John Pickwick

      March 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Why is this happening to such a great NGO???
      There needs to be a major investigation as to how $750.000 went missing! Who’s hand was in the till? I think everyone’s personal finances need to be looked into starting at the top. Can one man or group of people destroy 30 years of work.

      Can’t the government offer a bailout? Hell they give it to less deserving banks. 750.000 is not that much that the gov. Can’t say here let’s keep this vital agency going.

      This is a sad day for People living with HIV/AIDS what next???

  4. Apostle Shada Mishe

    February 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm


    Apostle Mishe
    [email protected]

    Sir / Madam,

    For the past 10 years of study of Ambush. a Palm plant extract that if effective in curing HIV.

    Name of Plant; Palm.

    Name of ingredient: Ambush.

    Molecular weight 640.
    (similar to the sequisulfides).

    Where found: In and around the areas of South Florida where uranium waste was dumped in the 1920's from the nuclear programme that has now leaked out into the water system. A specie of the PALM plant has picked up this waste to be the valuable AMBUSH.

    Chemical compd; Uranium isotope (cus.n) Grayish white soft metallic compound NOT found in chemistry books.

    Uses: Antiviral DRUG..Ambush.

    Found to "KILL" the HIV virus when given in a dose of 60 ml three times daily for 21 days at a known concentration.

    Mode of action.. Ambush kills the HIV virus by causing the viral shell to rupture. In the lymph system Ambush produces "natural radioactivity" that "kills" the virus that 'hides' in the lymph system. This crosses the blood-brain barrier since the 'patients' claim that they are able to see, hear and think more clearly after taking Ambush.

    Viral Loads…This decreases from 100,000 to 'undetectable' in 21 days….. but I have had patients VL go to 'undetectable ' in 5 days.

    1. After 5 to 7 days of treatment, patients MAY complain of HEADACHES.
    2. After 5 to 7 days male patients experience an increase in erection.
    3. Stool becomes soft and REGULAR.
    4. Patients c/o being WARM in the trunk area mainly at night when lying down.

    Toxicology……Before administering to any person a complete toxicological analysis was done to include, arsenic, barbiturates and NO KNOWN poisons or harmful substances to mankind were found.


    Skin…becomes clean, smooth and free of eczema or other say they have small eczema patches in the first week that go away by the third week.


    Since this is a very LARGE molecule it is excreted relatively unchanged via urine and feces.


    After 149 days the patents revert to being HIV NEGATIVE after finishing a course in Ambush hence no one goes public to say they WERE HIV positive.
    Pharmacology of Ambush on the GUT of an end stage AIDS person.

    It is known that late stage AIDS patients posses a high level of the virus in the GUT which should include the entire GI tract from stomach to rectum. Here the virus is found in the lining and this is difficult for ARV's because these are the areas needed by the ARV's to enter the blood supply. There is not a high enough blood level returning back to the stomach lining hence the virus remains in high concentration.

    This causes the person's appetite to decrease which causes a spiraling downhill of the body.

    When Ambush is taken in the liquid form, it is slightly basic and forms a stable compound in the acidic stomach.The Ambush compound is close to the stomach lining to exert the "natural radioactivity" effect which kills the virus in the stomach. Here the entire mid section feels very warm and sometimes feverish. The infected stomach lining with the dead areas is then passed out as a black slime in the stool. This usually happens about day 4 while on an Ambush regime of 60 ml three times daily for 21 days, wherein the person has a large bowel movement.

    After the bowel movement, the person becomes extremely hungry and eats TWO to THREE times a normal serving. Here I usually recommend cornmeal porridge with butter or cooking oil as a prevention against malnutrition and add a daily multivitamin. By day 10 the stomach has recovered and the person eats normally.


    The challenge is to find a Virologist, or Biologist of HIV Researcher who is willing to put some Ambush in a Human culture medium infected with the HIV virus, incubate with proper controls and report their findings to the world.

    More info is at or.

    Thank you for your interest and we will be happy to send you samples and answer any and all questions.

    Apostle Shada Mishe.
    [email protected]
    Dallas Texas,
    1-972 294 5161.

  5. Frederick Wright

    February 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Apostle Shada Mishe.. Praise God for you Love of Jesus the Christ.. Jesus is the Cure and hope he unveil it to the masses in a Light of Love and Wholeness.. If it is in your ideal of Ambush, let if be sow for the Glory of God. Apostle do not forget to give glory to God in your concept of Ambush.

  6. Frederick Wright

    February 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    This is a bold move in the forward concept of a Cure for AIDS , yes, truly bold. I am told that a federal investigation is being address right now with these Claims of a Cure for AIDS and soon we will know, if it is true or not. For it seems like the next move is to dis prove this concept as a false cure or for the FDA, NIH, Universities and such to step up to the plate to unveil the truth. I for one have being praying for God to unveil the Cure for AIDS to the masses and will until disproven have hope that this is a Cure for AIDS. Yes this is a very bold move and time will tell if it is Faith or a Fake. I am surprised that it has not be censored for one can get it for a 1000 dollars donation to the Apostle’s Group for if I had a 1000 dollars I would take a chance on the treatment. These are most exciting times. Step up to the plate FDA,NIH and Universities for many are watching and waiting for the outcomes.

    Frederick Wright
    GNP+USA, volunteer

  7. Frederick Wright

    February 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I received Ambush in the mail to day and thank you for the quick delivery,I will be following the instructions and boiling the Ambush tonight and starting the protocol tomorrow, might Utube each day for memories. I get paid next week and will send you the 50 dollars donation for your faith works, for I am walking by faith not by sight too. Praise God for He can do abundant more then we ever ask of today and forever. My mother will be so happy when I am cured to Dance in the streets to praise our God and shout by his wounds (Jesus’ wounds) I am Healed. and a little Ambush.. hee hee

    GNP+USA, volunteer,

    Frederick Wright

  8. John Pickwick

    March 5, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Why is this happening to such a great NGO???
    There needs to be a major investigation as to how $750.000 went missing! Who’s hand was in the till? I think everyone’s personal finances need to be looked into starting at the top. Can one man or group of people destroy 30 years of work.

    Can’t the government offer a bailout? Hell they give it to less deserving banks. 750.000 is not that much that the gov. Can’t say here let’s keep this vital agency going.

    This is a sad day for People living with HIV/AIDS what next???

  9. Frederick Wright

    March 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    John Pickwick,

    The sadness is no one is even taking a second look at NAPWA, remember this group is you and me and all people that are HIV. NAPWA in spirit is you , and you and you for it is not over. There are still passionate networks of HIV activist and very strong and most of the one’s working in the streets and in the communities do not have AIDS for they are purpose driven from the heart, for they are part of a network of people that care and stand up for the cause of freedom for HIV people, which is inclusive to AIDS people too.

    The Logo or Organization in form call NAPWA that is certified as a NON Profit, Private Charity Corporation is not the cure and is not the only group that is on your side. This is a wake up call for all HIV people to start giving back for NAPWA was clearly suck dry of energy and vison, so HIV people stand tall and hold ones head high and if you can come out of the prison of HIV do it today inside to be free, if you are afraid then ask, seek and knock for help and many will come to you side to help you come OUT with your honor , integrity and truth. My prayer is for peace and joy within my HIV positive brothers and sisters. Well you join in on this prayer today for peace and joy to you?


    Greeting my Christian Brother and I like to give you an update on my 4 th day of Glory Ambush that you sent me to my home, again I thank God for your boldness.

    I am drinking 3 oz, 3 times a day and feeling great and singing joy in my heart for Good Health. I got paid last night and putting your 50 dollar bill as promised in the mail with a special prayer for these meek resources to multiply for God’s People and for many to receive their Cure for AIDS to be free from the past and rejoice in this New found freedom, for you know in our Faith, if one is in Christ Jesus the old is Gone and behold the New Creation… Glory… oh Glory in His endless Grace…..

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Federal Government

Veterans can now identify as transgender, nonbinary on their VA medical records

About 80 percent of trans veterans have encountered a hurtful or rejecting experience in the military because of their gender identity



Graphic via U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced Wednesday that his department added the options of transgender male, transgender female, nonbinary and other, when veterans select their gender, in medical records and healthcare documentation.

“All veterans, all people, have a basic right to be identified as they define themselves,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement. “This is essential for their general well-being and overall health. Knowing the gender identity of transgender and gender-diverse veterans helps us better serve them.”

The statement also noted that the change allows health-care providers to better understand and meet the medical needs of their patients. The information also could help providers identify any stigma or discrimination that a veteran has faced that might be affecting their health.

McDonough speaking at a Pride Month event last June at the Orlando VA Healthcare System, emphasized his support for Trans and LGBQ+ vets.

McDonough said that he pledged to overcome a “dark history” of discrimination and take steps to expand access to care for transgender veterans.

With this commitment McDonough said he seeks to allow “transgender vets to go through the full gender confirmation process with VA by their side,” McDonough said. “We’re making these changes not only because they are the right thing to do, but because they can save lives,” he added.

In a survey of transgender veterans and transgender active-duty service members, transgender veterans reported several mental health diagnoses, including depression (65%), anxiety (41%), PTSD (31%), and substance abuse (16%).  In a study examining VHA patient records from 2000 to 2011 (before the 2011 VHA directive), the rate of suicide-related events among veterans with a gender identity disorder (GID) diagnoses was found to be 20 times higher than that of the general VHA patient population.

McDonough acknowledged the VA research pointing out that in addition to psychological distress, trans veterans also may experience prejudice and stigma. About 80 percent of trans veterans have encountered a hurtful or rejecting experience in the military because of their gender identity.

“LGBTQ+ veterans experience mental illness and suicidal thoughts at far higher rates than those outside their community,” McDonough said. “But they are significantly less likely to seek routine care, largely because they fear discrimination.

“At VA, we’re doing everything in our power to show veterans of all sexual orientations and gender identities that they can talk openly, honestly and comfortably with their health care providers about any issues they may be experiencing,” he added.

All VA facilities have had a local LGBTQ Veteran Care Coordinator responsible for helping those veterans connect to available services since 2016.

“We’re making these changes not only because they are the right thing to do but because they can save lives,” McDonough said. He added that the VA would also change the name of the Veterans Health Administration’s LGBT health program to the LGBTQ+ Health Program to reflect greater inclusiveness.

Much of the push for better access to healthcare and for recognition of the trans community is a result of the polices of President Joe Biden, who reversed the ban on Trans military enacted under former President Trump, expanding protections for transgender students and revived anti-bias safeguards in health care for transgender Americans.

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Prominent LGBTQ+ activist found dead in Florida landfill

Diaz-Johnston was the brother of former Miami mayor and Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz & he led the fight for marriage equality



Photo courtesy of Don Diaz Johnston

Police in Florida’s capital city confirmed that the body of Jorge Diaz-Johnston, 54, who had been reported missing was found in a Jackson County landfill Saturday morning.

Diaz-Johnston was last seen alive Jan. 3 in Tallahassee, more than an hour from where his body was found, according to a missing person notice released by police. Detectives are investigating his death as a homicide, a police spokesperson said.

Diaz-Johnston, was the brother of former Miami mayor and Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz. As an LGBTQ advocate he led the fight for marriage equality, he and his husband were plaintiffs in an historic 2014 lawsuit that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Miami-Dade County.

ABC News reported at the time that a South Florida circuit court judge sided with Diaz-Johnston and five couples suing the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Florida dropped its ban on same-sex marriage in 2015.

His husband wrote in a poignant Facebook post; “There are just no words for the loss of my beloved husband Jorge Isaias Diaz-Johnston. I can’t stop crying as I try and write this. But he meant so much to all of you as he did to me. So I am fighting through the tears to share with you our loss of him.”

“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of Jorge. He and his husband Don were two of the brave plaintiffs who took on Florida’s anti-gay marriage ban and helped win marriage equality for all Floridians,” Equality Florida said adding, “Our deepest condolences to Don and Jorge’s extended family.”

Detectives urge anyone who may have information to call 850-891-4200, or make an anonymous tip to Big Bend Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS.

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Bill prohibiting ‘gay panic defense’ clears New Hampshire House

New Hampshire could soon join over a dozen other states which ban the use of ‘gay panic’ as a defense



New Hampshire State House (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Legislation prohibiting defendants accused of manslaughter from using the victim’s gender, gender identity or sexual orientation as a defense, which had died in committee during the 2021 regular session of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, was reintroduced this session and passed with a 223-118 vote last week.

House Bill 238, stirred up controversary from opponents who claimed that state statues already covered murder and manslaughter. During a Criminal Justice committee hearing last Spring, Rep. Dick Marston, a Manchester Republican, voiced opposition, saying that the laws already cover murder and manslaughter and that “there’s no way in heck that you’re going to be able to say ‘Well because he or she was some deviant sexuality that I’m not–‘”

Marston was cut off by committee chairman Daryl Abbas, a Salem Republican, who gaveled him down and rebuked him for the derogatory language the Concord-Monitor reported

Later, the committee Republicans blocked an effort to move the bill out of committee alleging it needed more work and was not necessary because a jury could already strike down a similar attempted defense. The bill was then stalled in the committee, effectively killing it from being pushed further in last year’s session.

As the measure now heads to the state Senate, New Hampshire could soon join over a dozen other states which ban the use of the ‘gay panic’ as a defense.

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