FAIR Foundation CEO Asks, "Is there Greed in both National and Local HIV/AIDS Organizations?"

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The FAIR Foundation’s President and CEO, Dr. Richard Darling, asks that you decide and states that taxpayers have spent well over one third of a trillion—yes, trillion—dollars on HIV/AIDS resulting in its plummeting death rate (99 percent in California). Darling points out that the government's top HIV/AIDS researcher, Anthony Fauci, MD, admitted years ago that their success is "breathtaking" with HIV patients who “look and feel well, and are leading very productive, very gratifying lives” yet Fauci continues to accept billions more from taxpayers annually. Darling also offers his critical assessment of local HIV/AIDS groups, “they receive millions from federal and local governments yet they still battle neighboring charities for every cent the community has to offer.”

The FAIR Foundation’s President and CEO, Dr. Richard Darling, asks that you decide and he offers the following information:

Nationally, taxpayers have spent well over one third of a trillion dollars --yes, a trillion--on HIV/AIDS, including over $3,000 per HIV/AIDS patient on bio-medical research annually versus less than $200 for virtually every other illness.

The Department of Health and Human Services has only one HOPWA program that has spent billions on providing housing to patients. Does HOPWA stand for “Housing Opportunities for Patients with Alzheimer’s”? No, the lucky beneficiaries of this federal program are AIDS patients.

Billions more are spent annually on HIV/AIDS by others, including the 50 states, pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Darling asks, “How successful has all this funding been?” His answer: “Extremely successful—the plummeting HIV/AIDS death rate nationwide is exemplified by the 99 percent decrease in deaths of California’s newly infected HIV/AIDS patients from almost 10,000 in 1992 to less than 200 in 2009.”

"Our government's top HIV researcher and the physician who oversees the annual $3 billion HIV/AIDS research budget, Anthony Fauci, MD, admitted years ago that their success is 'breathtaking' with HIV patients who 'look and feel well, and are leading very productive, very gratifying lives.'”

Darling points to further evidence of success: HIV/AIDS activist Elton John, whose AIDS Foundation has raised many millions of dollars for his cause, stated on the American Idol TV show that HIV “is not a life-threatening disease anymore” and rock star Bono, while asking for more money for HIV/AIDS in TV ads, states that HIV patients need to take just two pills a day to stay alive; two pills that cost only 40 cents.

Darling inquires, “Is there greed in local HIV/AIDS organizations?”

In Palm Springs, CA the Desert AIDS Project (DAP) competes with neighboring charities for every dollar available from local residents. Why, in Darling’s opinion, is that inappropriate? While charities work hard for a few thousand dollars at local events, DAP's 2008 IRS Form 990 shows that they have already received $11.8 million in receipts, including $7.5 million in grants, contributions and program service revenue with a large staff of 100 for only 2,200 patients. The 990 also shows $3.6 million in salaries and benefits with a Director’s total compensation of $200,000. Dr. Darling suggests it is informative that DAP also has an art collection that has a book value of $1 million dollars.

Integrated Wealth Management (IWM) is the Title Sponsor for the Kraft Nabisco Ladies Professional Golf Association’s 1st major tournament being held this week in Rancho Mirage, CA. IWM uses local charities to sell tickets for the event—the charities compete with each other with their sale proceeds returning to the charity. DAP is presently competing with all local charities in this event even though IWM had already donated $150,000 to DAP in 2008, 2009 and announced recently they are increasing their gift to DAP—the new amount: $1 million dollars. Darling offers this question: “Would it not have been appropriate for DAP to disclose to the competing charities that it had already received this significant funding from IWM with DAP’s subsequent withdrawal from the event so that the few thousand dollars available in ticket sales would go to other local charities that are not so blessed?”

In Darling’s opinion, DAP rubs salt further into the wounds of every other neighboring charity by using their treasure chest of funds to run regular, lengthy TV ads in which their CEO, David Brinkman, states “funding has been slashed” while urging all local citizens to support DAP, presumably with more funding. Darling adds, "Of course, no other local charities can afford such expensive television advertisements."

Darling questions if the DAP’s Board of Directors, including representatives from Bank of America, Desert Regional Medical Center, Union Bank & the Episcopal Church know that DAP is fighting so hard for every local penny that could benefit other financially strapped charities, including youth clubs, homeless shelters, and those that help crippled and abused children, even though DAP is receiving such immense funding from federal and local governments? If so, Darling believes they should be ashamed of themselves if they allow it to continue.

Darling points out that DAP rings the register again with their annual awards banquet (in 2009 over $500,000 of expense with George Hamilton and Joan Collins listed as headlining stars this year). During the 2010 event, the IWM President & CEO, Jim Casey, who is also a DAP Board member, seemingly contradicted Brinkman’s assessment in the TV ads of their financial condition when Casey stated “even in the worse economic times in history, we are set to have the most successful fundraising event in Desert AIDS Project history.” Casey then announced IWM’s $1,000,000 donation to DAP.

Darling suggests it may also be informative to look at other local groups that are the beneficiary of exorbitant funding for HIV/AIDS and offers the following example: “The San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s IRS Form 990 reveals $19.4 million in grants, $7.8 million in salaries including CEO Mark Cloutier's total compensation of $247,893 and many others receiving over $150,000.”

Darling asks, “Has Dr. Fauci or any local HIV/AIDS organization been willing to entertain the suggestion that they are receiving a disproportionate amount of taxpayer dollars, refused it or offered to have it redirected to other illnesses? The mantra of the HIV/AIDS industry is that their disease is special because it is infectious, that you and everyone in your family, even grandparents, should fear this disease and therefore even more money should go towards battling HIV/AIDS.”

“The truth, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is that the only people at risk from this PREVENTABLE disease are men having sex with men, IV drug users and heterosexuals having sex with those with HIV or those at risk of having HIV.”

Darling concludes by stating that it is time to add the HIV/AIDS industry to those in need of cutbacks by our Congresspersons during these tough budgetary times. He recommends that a significant portion of HIV's overflowing treasure chest, which includes President Obama’s 2012 budget request of $28 billion for this one illness, should rightfully go towards helping patients and research for illnesses other than HIV.

Dr. Richard Darling is the Founder, President & CEO of the FAIR Foundation, a national organization with thousands of members in all fifty states. FAIR’s Missions and goals are fair and equitable bio-medical research funding for all diseases, new organ-donor policies to reverse America’s organ donor crisis, promotion of organ donation and preventive health education to reduce the need for donor organs. FAIR’s Board of Directors includes 29 transplant surgeons, medical directors and patient advocates.

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