Why The Hell is Supervisor Bevan Dufty the Anonymous Poster Boy For an HIV Drug?

January 7, 2009 033Bevan.jpg

If Bevan Dufty were the frontman for a Hair Club for Men billboard, we'd assume he's bald. So what are we supposed to think when we see the District 8 supervisor as the poster boy for an HIV pill?

Not since Gavin Newsom and Fiona Ma -- the Prom King and Queen of San Francisco politics -- appeared together on a Hepatitis prevention ad right in the wake of Ruby Rippey-Tourk-gate have city politician and a disease been this awkwardly juxtaposed.

Dufty's star turn begs a pair of questions:

  • Why isn't his name mentioned on the billboard?
  • Does Dufty, the city's most prominent gay politician, have HIV?

Dufty can't answer the first question -- that was the decision of the marketing gurus. But he can definitely say no to the latter. Yet while his HIV tests are clean, his visage on the ads is not.

"My friends tell me I've been tagged up at certain locations. I understand I've been tagged with 'I'm easy' -- which I guess isn't bad advertising," he notes. "Another one says 'I killed Halloween,' and I guess there's a bow tie in another."

The program Dufty is fronting -- at the behest of the city's Department of Public Health -- is a future study of whether the HIV-treatment drug Truvada can prevent gay or bisexual men from becoming infected in the first place.

And, as far as posing on a billboard that could lead onlookers to believe he's stricken with a life-threatening illness, it hardly rates as one of the more outlandish things he's been asked to do.

"In my first year as a supervisor, I did a butt print for Magnet. Basically, I sat in paint and they posted different butts around the city of people for a program about anal health. Well, they put my print between a drag queen who used a huge, voluptuous fake butt and a porn star, Michael Brandon -- and, basically, his print contained a lot of other information. I think that's the best way to put it," recalls Dufty. "So, I kind of looked bad between the two of them. You get to be humbled a lot in this job."

(You'll notice we refrained from making a joke about Dufty being surrounded by assholes referring to his colleagues on the board).

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