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DC AIDS Scandal Spurs AHF to Call for Congressional Investigation

 

Washington, DC - November 2, 2009 - AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)- On the heels of a recent series of Washington Post articles on widespread mismanagement and corruption in the District of Columbia's HIV/AIDS programs, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today called for a Congressional investigation into the ongoing scandal. The most recent Post article , which appeared Sunday, documented the Health Department's HIV/AIDS Administration's hiring of a convicted felon to manage tens of millions of dollars in HIV/AIDS service contracts in the District, which has the highest AIDS rate in the nation, higher than the rate found in Lagos, Nigeria. The Post reported the District paid $2 million over three years to Beale Inc., a company with no prior HIV/AIDS experience run by Robin Beale, who was convicted in the late 1990s on fraud charges.

As also reported in the newspaper Sunday, "In a two-part series last month, The Post found that the city-with the highest rate of AIDS cases in the nation-had paid millions in recent years to nonprofit groups that couldn't account for their spending or services for people with AIDS. An examination of the Beale Inc. contract shows that problems also extended to consultants, hired for everything from HIV studies to computer support."

"In a city with incredible need for such crucial lifesaving AIDS services, it is truly disheartening to learn of the widespread mismanagement, fraud and corruption in the District's AIDS programs," said Michael Weinstein, President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "We are grateful to the Washington Post and its staff for their ongoing and thorough investigative reporting on this. The underlying corruption and mismanagement of millions of dollars in AIDS services in Washington has spurred AHF to call on Congress today for a full congressional investigation into this scandal."

Among the Post's other findings regarding misspent or unaccounted AIDS funds in Washington outlined in earlier articles include:

$1.1 million awarded to a housing group whose ailing boarders struggled at times without electricity, gas, or food.

$530,000 awarded to an AIDS housing program where city inspectors found no business being conducted.

$400,000 awarded to a nonprofit, launched by a man who once ran one of the District's largest cocaine operations, for a job-training center that has never opened.

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About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the US' largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 80,000 individuals in 22 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org

Contacts:
Ged Kenslea,
Communications Director
Tel: (323) 860-5225
Fax: (323) 468-0400
gedk@aidshealth.org

Lori Yeghiayan,
Associate Director of Communications
Tel:(323) 860-5227
Fax:(323)468-0400
lori.yeghiayan@aidshealth.org

Source: AIDS Heathcare Foundation
http://www.aidshealth.org/news/press-releases/dc-aids-scandal-spurs-ahf-to.html


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