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Whitman-Walker to honor former White House AIDS czar

Crowley praises Affordable Care Act, despite bumps

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Jeffrey Crowley, AIDS, gay news, Washington Blade
Jeffrey Crowley, AIDS, gay news, Washington Blade

Former White House AIDS czar Jeffrey Crowley. (Photo courtesy of Whitman-Walker Health)

Whitman-Walker Health on April 17 will honor former White House AIDS czar Jeff Crowley at its annual spring benefit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Northwest D.C.

“I’ve had a chance to reflect on this great experience I had and then just to be recognized for my work by Whitman-Walker I think is really special,” Crowley told the Washington Blade during an interview on March 31.

Crowley, who was the director of the Office of National AIDS Policy at the White House from February 2009 until December 2011, spoke with the Blade hours before the deadline for Americans to sign-up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act that President Obama signed into law in 2010.

Crowley described the Affordable Care Act as a “structural intervention that will make it easier to get” people with HIV onto care and keep them in treatment. He further noted Obama signed the law less than four months before the White House released the first national HIV/AIDS strategy.

“I’ve also said there’s no way I could have imagined a transition that didn’t have bumps along the way,” said Crowley, referring to glitches with the Affordable Care Act website and other enrollment-related concerns. “Over time those things will work themselves out. The ACA really creates an opportunity for us to make a lot of progress.”

Crowley acknowledged undocumented immigrants are unable to apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. He also said those with HIV below the poverty level who live in states that did not expand Medicaid may not be able to afford coverage because they cannot access marketplace subsidies.

“We have these ongoing challenges,” Crowley told the Blade.

The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act remains available to assist uninsured people with HIV and those who are underinsured. The program can also supplement and help reduce drug costs for those living with the virus.

The AIDS Drug Assistance Program under the Affordable Care Act will also be able to cover drugs that Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance will not cover.

“There are issues of the affordability because some of drugs may not be covered and then the co-payments might be too high,” said Crowley. “There’s a lot of advocacy going on right now with some of the HIV advocates in some cases state-by-state with the local advocates to really educate these plans to improve their formulary policy so they don’t put all the drugs in the highest level.”

Crowley, who is the program director of the National HIV/AIDS Initiative at Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute, also applauded D.C.’s response to the epidemic.

He specifically noted the “test to treat” approach to combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the nation’s capital and the D.C. Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA)’s work with local HIV/AIDS service organizations to use a surveillance model to reconnect people with the virus who have stopped treatment to care.

“I’m actually really, really proud of the District,” said Crowley. “In the past they weren’t necessarily the leader on a lot of fronts.”

Crowley, who is a Whitman-Walker client, taught high school science in Swaziland from 1988-1991 when he was a member of the U.S. Peace Corps. He also held various positions with the now defunct-National Association of People with AIDS from 1994 through 2000.

Crowley described the organization’s 2013 bankruptcy as “sad.”

“It’s really important for people living with HIV to have a voice,” Crowley told the Blade. “There’s still a need to be a voice for people with HIV and we’re going to have to look at different mechanisms.”

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Pride flags vandalized, stolen in Loudoun County town

‘Bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand’

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Vandals destroyed or stole several Pride flags that had been displayed at homes in Lovettsville, Va. (Screen capture via WUSA9))

Vandals this week destroyed or stole Pride flags that Lovettsville residents had displayed on their homes.

Calvin Woehrie told WUSA the vandals used a blade to slash the Pride flag that was hanging from his house. The D.C. television station reported the vandals also targeted Woehrie’s neighbors who are a lesbian couple with four children.

The Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office said the vandals damaged five Pride flags from three homes and they stole two more. A spokesperson for the Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office told WUSA the vandalism is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

“I wanted to address events that happened over the weekend, that are deplorable and devastating to the entire community,” said Lovettsville Mayor Nate Fontaine in a letter he sent to town residents on June 16. “Over the weekend, there was destruction of property that specifically targeted our LGBTQ community. To make this even more heinous is that the destruction of property was done during Pride Month. To have property destroyed targeting members of our community is horrible and can be frightening for those targeted.” 

“For the individuals who committed these crimes, know that your bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand,” added Fontaine. “We are working closely with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and this has also been added as an agenda item for our June 24th Council meeting.”

Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, on Saturday described the vandalism as “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Whether someone is voicing an opinion or flying a flag, as Virginians — and as human beings — we must be respectful of one another,” wrote Youngkin in a Facebook post.

“Politicians always seem to be pitting neighbor against neighbor, but I am committed to bringing people together around our shared values, like treating others the same way you want to be treated,” he added. “We must all do better by respecting others’ right to live their lives freely, without being targeted because of who they are.”

WUSA reported Lovettsville residents bought Pride flags to replace the ones that had been vandalized and stolen.

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Transgender man murdered in Va.

EJ Boykin was shot outside Lynchburg store on June 14

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EJ Boykin (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

A transgender man was murdered in Lynchburg, Va., on June 14.

The News and Advance, a local newspaper, reported EJ Boykin, who was also known as Novaa Watson, was shot outside a Family Dollar store on the city’s Fort Avenue at around 6 p.m. Boykin passed away at Lynchburg General Hospital a short time later.

A spokesperson for the Lynchburg Police Department told the News and Advance the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute. Authorities added there is no evidence to currently suggest the shooting was a hate crime based on Boykin’s gender identity.

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reported Boykin was born and raised in Baltimore and was a student at Morgan State University. The blog said Boykin celebrated his 23rd Birthday on June 10, four days before his murder.

Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, in a statement notes Boykin is the fifth trans man reported killed in 2021. HRC notes at least 29 trans or gender non-conforming people are known to have been murdered so far this year.

“The level of fatal violence we’ve recorded this year is higher than we’ve ever seen,” said Cooper. “All of these individuals deserved to live. We must strike at the roots of racism and transphobia, and continue to work toward justice and equality for trans and gender non-conforming people.”

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Comings & Goings

Jarvis lands lead consultant role at Meridian

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Ted Jarvis

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected].

The Comings & Goings column also invites LGBTQ+ college students to share their successes with us. If you have been elected to a student government position, gotten an exciting internship, or are graduating and beginning your career with a great job, let us know so we can share your success.

Congratulations to Ted Jarvis on his new position as Lead Consultant with Meridian Compensation Partners, in D.C. He will work on executive compensation, governance research and development. When asked for a response to news of his new role, Jarvis told this story: “I was on the prowl for a new job, I contacted the CEO of Meridian, who worked closely with me during our years at Towers Perrin. After half an hour on the phone, he asked: ‘Send me a list of things you really like to do.’ I followed up with a list of activities that continually engage my interest. Within a few days he mailed me a job description that reiterated my list almost word-for-word. I feel truly blessed to have a job so aligned with what I enjoy doing. This is going to be great.”

Prior to working for Meridian, Jarvis worked as Managing Director with Main Data Group in D.C. and Wilton Manors, Fla. He has also worked as Global Director of Executive Compensation Data, Research & Publications, Mercer, in D.C.; principal with Willis Towers Watson; and as a research consultant with McKinsey & Company. Jarvis is a member of the Lotos Club (New York); a benefactor at Drew University (Morristown, N.J.). He funded two undergraduate prizes (Wettstein Drama Prize; Norton Wettstein and Jane Brown Memorial Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement); a benefactor, Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia): funded William Joseph Coverley-Smith Prize, awarded annually at the Juried Art Competition; and a benefactor, St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church (Rochester, N.Y.).

Jarvis earned his MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business; his bachelor’s (cum laude); his Ph.D. (ABD) major in music history, literature and theory from NYU. He earned a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Vienna.

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