Politics of Sex, Drugs and HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts

WED, JAN 28, 2004 (1:24:17)

A panel of health experts discuss the politics of sex, drugs and HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts. 41% of the estimated 20,000 people living with HIV in Massachusetts were infected either through their own needle-sharing or through sex with a needle-sharing partner. Panelists debate whether Massachusetts needs a syringe access policy as well as Department of Public Health reports that nearly 10% of new infections in the state are occurring among young people, aged 13 to 24. As sex education programs have fallen victim to budget-cutting and conservative mores, panelists explore what should our political leaders can do to safeguard the health of the state's youth.

+ BIO: Harold Cox

Harold Cox is associate dean for public health practice and associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at Boston University School of Public Health. In these roles, he supervises the student practica program and academic/community practice relationships. He also teaches a course titled "Community-Based Approaches to Health and Development." Trained as a social worker, he has more than 25 years of experience in direct service, administration, and advocacy in a variety of public health care settings. Prior to joining Boston University, he served for 10 years as chief public health officer for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cox currently chairs the statewide committee that is exploring regionalization as an approach for redesigning the local public health system in Massachusetts. He is principal investigator and director of PEER (Partnership for Effective Emergency Response). He is a member of the Massachusetts Legislative Commission on Health Disparities, and a recent appointee by Governor Deval Patrick to the Massachusetts Public Health Council. He is an appointee of Mayor Tom Menino to the Boston Public Health Commission. He is the past president of Massachusetts Public Health Association, past president of the Multicultural AIDS Coalition, and a member of the board of Delta Dental's Oral Health Foundation. Cox is a recipient of numerous awards, including the American Public Health Association's Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health, the Rebecca Lee Award for outstanding commitment to public health from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Hilliard award for outstanding achievement from Massachusetts Health Officers Association.

While in Cambridge, Cox formed Clean Air Works, a collaboration of 19 communities responsible for helping local communities and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts develop smoke free policies. He also developed the Cambridge Advanced Practice Center for Emergency Preparedness, which develops policies and program implementation. Also, in Cambridge, Cox facilitated a number of community improvements including, the multidisciplinary working group on homelessness and nuisance behaviors; and developed multidisciplinary programs for implementing domestic violence prevention activities. Harold was a member of the committee at NACCHO that developed Project Public Health Ready, which recognizes local communities' emergency preparedness levels. He was a member of the national committee that explored accreditation of local health departments.

+ BIO: Jean McGuire

Jean McGuire has been executive director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc., (METCO) since 1973. As head of METCO, the largest and oldest not-for-profit desegregation/integration program in America, McGuire has become one of the most significant and outspoken leaders of the movement for quality education for people of color in metropolitan Boston and nationally.

An activist for equal education and quality teachers, McGuire was a student at Girls Latin School and a Boston Public Schools teacher. Dr. McGuire attended Howard University and holds a B.S. from Boston State College, an M.A. in Education from Tufts University, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Salem State College.

In 1981 Dr. McGuire became the second African American elected to serve on the Boston School Committee.

+ BIO: Martin McLee

Bishop Peter D. Weaver of the New England Conference of The United Methodist Church will appoint The Reverend Martin D. McLee J.D. as District Superintendent for the Metro Boston Hope District, effective July 1, 2008. Rev. McLee succeeds The Rev. Dr. Aida Irizarry Fernandez, who has served as District Superintendent for the past eight years, the maximum term that a Superintendent may serve in that role according to the United Methodist Book of Discipline.

Aida has brought an incredible spirit to the Conference and the Metro Boston district over the past eight years, and we are grateful for her many years of excellent service in this role, said Bishop Weaver.

For the past eight years, Rev. McLee has been serving as pastor of the historic Union United Methodist Church in Boston's South End. Originally from New York City, he is a graduate of Nasson College is Springvale, ME and received a BA with Honors from Hunter College in NY. He has graduate degrees in Education and Theology from Fordham University and Southern Methodist University respectively, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. In addition to his work as pastor in local churches in both Boston, MA and Dallas, TX, he has served as Chaplain

+ BIO: Richard Knox

Since he joined NPR in 2000, Knox has covered a broad range of issues and events in public health, medicine, and science. His reports can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, and newscasts. Among other things, Knox's NPR reports have examined the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa, North America, and the Caribbean; anthrax terrorism; smallpox and other bioterrorism preparedness issues; the rising cost of medical care; early detection of lung cancer; community caregiving; music and the brain; and the SARS epidemic.

Before joining NPR, Knox covered medicine and health for The Boston Globe. His award-winning 1995 articles on medical errors are considered landmarks in the national movement to prevent medical mistakes. Knox is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Columbia University. He has held yearlong fellowships at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and is the author of a 1993 book on Germany's health care system.

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