Members of the task force that prepared the county's plan for dealing with AIDS objected angrily Wednesday to changes that were made by county health officials before the Board of Supervisors quietly passed the modified measure this week.
Regional Task Force on AIDS members also criticized the county counsel's plan to trim an ordinance proposed by the task force that would prohibit discrimination against people believed to be infected with the AIDS virus.
"I'm livid about this," Fred Nagel, a task force member, complained to a Department of Health Services official responsible for the modifications made to the strategic plan. " . . . I intend to take this up directly with the Board of Supervisors."
Passed Without Discussion
The supervisors passed the new version of the plan without discussion Tuesday after Health Department officials had rewritten their goals to limit the county's involvement in and responsibility for measures to control the spread of the disease and care for its victims.
For example, whereas the task force's plan spoke of the county's "legal responsibility" in assuring health services relating to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, the Health Department revision spoke simply of the county's "regional leadership" in that area.
"It is not the job of the county to simply state where it's going to put its fingers," Kathleen Armogida, a Health Department deputy director, told the task force at its monthly meeting. She suggested that the county could be faulted for intruding in the domain of the private sector.
But Dr. Brad Truax, the task force chairman, said the group deliberately used the word "responsibility" to ensure that the county would step in, not simply encourage through leadership, "in areas not met by the private sector."
At the same meeting, Penn Lerblance of the task force proposed that the group oppose the county counsel's plan to omit from the anti-discrimination ordinance sections covering employment, educational institutions and insurance. The counsel has suggested that those areas are already covered by state laws--a contention with which Lerblance's legislative subcommittee does not agree.