On March 24, President Obama announced the appointment of Douglas M. Brooks as the new director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
Immediately, organizaitons across the country responded with praise for the selection of Brooks, an openly gay African American man living with HIV, and "a respected expert in the community whose distinct experiences will help further our goals of achieving an AIDS-free generation and improving the health of people living with HIV in the United States," states a White House blog.
The National Confederacy of Two-Spirit Organizations likewise applauded the appointment of Brooks, who has been on the frontline of the fight against HIV/AIDS for more than 20 years and has a deep passion and understanding of the well-being of all communities impacted by HIV/AIDS, states the organizations' press release.
“The Two-Spirit community looks forward to Mr. Brooks’ continued support of working towards an AIDS-free generation for the Native community,” stated Harlan Pruden, a representative of the NorthEast Two-Spirit Society and the National Confederacy of Two-Spirit Organizations, “I had the honor of meeting Mr. Brooks at the February 2013 Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) meeting. With his support, PACAH unanimously passed a Two-Spirit resolution. Mr. Brooks is an outstanding leader, has an amazing sense of responsibility and his values are in the right place.”
“In 2011, American Indians and Alaska Natives were twice as likely to develop a case of Hepatitis C compared to the white population. These co-factors indicate higher HIV risk than what is documented in surveillance reports. The MSM/Two-Spirit community is disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. According to CDC, 72 percent of recently diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS are Native males and of that, over 83% are Native men who have sex with men or the male-bodied Two-Spirit individuals.” said John Co-Cke` Hawk of Tulsa Two-Spirit Society and representation to the National Confederacy Two-Spirit Organizations, “Additionally, the MSM/Two Spirit community bears the brunt of this infection and yet when we look at the allocation of resources, there is little to no funding or support being directed to this community.”
About the National Confederacy of Two-Spirit Organizations:
The National Confederacy of Two-Spirit Organizations was formed with the following mandate: there are two major components: an internal view, where members help one another; and an external view, where members collectively present a unified message of: who they are; what does their organizations do; and what are the needs and desires of the national Two-Spirit community.
Members of National Confederacy of Two-Spirit Organizations:
Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (San Francisco, CA); Central Oklahoma Two Spirit Society (Oklahoma City, OK); City of Angels Two-Spirit Society (Los Angeles, CA); Commitment to Action for 7th Generation Awareness and Education (CA7AE), Denver, CO; Indiana Two-Spirit Society (Bloomington, IN); Indigenous Peoples Task Force (Minneapolis, MN); Montana Two-Spirit Society (Browning, MT); NativeOUT (Phoenix, AZ); Navajo AIDS Network (Chinle, AZ); NorthEast Two-Spirit Society (New York, NY); Northwest Two-Spirit Society (Seattle, WA); Portland Two Spirit Society (Portland, OR); Texas Two Spirit Society (Dallas, TX);Tulsa Two-Spirit Society (Tulsa, OK); Wichita Two-Spirit Society (Wichita, KS)