New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has come under harsh criticism from city HIV/AIDS activists for allegedly ignoring the rising numbers of HIV-positive homeless people in the city and for not offering up any new initiatives to address HIV/AIDS among the city's at-risk populations, the New York Daily News reports. The number of homeless people with AIDS seeking city-provided shelter is up 18% during the first nine months of Bloomberg's administration, but no new city programs have been launched to meet this increased demand. In fact, AIDS activists say Bloomberg has offered up no new initiatives at all to address HIV/AIDS in the nation's largest city.
Jennifer Flynn, executive director of NYC AIDS Housing Network, called Bloomberg's failure to address HIV/AIDS a "huge failing." Gina Quattrochi, executive director of Bailey House, which provides shelter for homeless people with AIDS, also questioned Bloomberg's commitment to fighting the disease. "I don't know how you can be mayor in the year 2002 and not talk publicly about AIDS and have a strategy," she said. "To me, it says AIDS is not his priority."