L.A. Needs New Leadership on Monkeypox, HIV and STDs

In Featured, News by Ged Kenslea

In a new monkeypox advocacy ad in the Los Angeles Times (Sunday, August 21), AHF faults L.A. County Public Health for taking a top-down approach, dictating to the community rather than enlisting those groups as partners  


Stating that public health the most basic responsibility of government, AHF’s ad also admonishes county officials to “Put the ‘Public’ Back in Public Health”


LOS ANGELES (August 19, 2022) AHF will run another full-page, full-color advocacy ad on monkeypox targeting Los Angeles County Public Health officials over their response to the ongoing outbreak, which has overwhelmingly affected gay men, men who have sex with men and transgender individuals.


The ad headlined “L.A. Needs New Leadership on Monkeypox, HIV and STDs”, criticizes L.A. County officials over their ‘top-down approach, which dictates to the community rather than enlisting their support, and sets community groups against one another.” The ad reminds readers that public health is the most basic responsibility of government yet points out that the “LA County Department of Public Health treats the trusted representatives of the community with contempt.”


This ad follows two previous monkeypox ads that AHF ran in prior editions of the Los Angeles Times. The first ad, headlined “LA County Fails Gay Men AGAIN” (Sunday, July 31, 2022) reminded readers how L.A. County officials failed gay men on its AIDS response at the start of that epidemic over 40 years ago are sadly once again not taking enough appropriate steps on monkeypox to ensure the public’s safety.


The second ad, headlined “Monkeypox: LA County Alert” (Sunday, August 6, 2022) criticized L.A. County officials over their disjointed and disorganized response to the outbreak, cases of which first started appearing outside of Africa in Western Europe and the United States beginning in mid-May. It also decried the county’s lack of effective cooperation with community partners, who have the ground level networks, outreach and programs already in place to aid the county in mounting a more effective response providing education, prevention, testing and vaccinations, particularly given the extremely limited supply of vaccine doses.


According to LA County Public Health, as of August 19, 2022, there are 1,105 confirmed monkeypox cases in the county (including case counts from Pasadena and Long Beach, which each have their own public health departments) with 99% found among males and 90% of those cases within the LGBTQ+ community.


AHF’s latest LA Times ad closes with a powerful admonishment to the County: “Put the public back in public health.”

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