Antigone H. Dempsey, MEd, is the former director of the HIV and Sexual Health Center at Altarum Institute, bringing 23 years of experience in HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexual health and addictions program management, organizational leadership, expert facilitation, training, technical assistance (TA), strategic planning, policy development, and systems change. She has experience on the ground level with providing HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programming services, and co-occurring health conditions such as addictions.
In 2009, Ms. Dempsey was appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) health secretary to serve as a Special Government Employee for the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention and Treatment. She was recently reappointed by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to serve as co-chair and liaison to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. For these groups, she serves as co-chair for the Sexual Health Workgroup, the Viral Hepatitis Workgroup, and the HIV Disclosure Workgroup.
Ms. Dempsey’s experience ranges from leading a community-based organization (CBO) providing psychosocial support services for young people living with HIV/AIDS; to working for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau as a Public Health Analyst; to leading a national nonprofit organization providing training and TA to more than 100 CBOs annually on HIV testing, linkages to care and linkages with the health care system.
At Altarum, Ms. Dempsey served as project director for the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis Project to the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy. She led the assistance to HHS in implementing, monitoring, and promoting public awareness about the newly released Action Plan and federal cross-agency workgroup, communications activities, and expert consultations.
Ms. Dempsey formerly served as the project director for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Recovery Community Services Program, where she led the provision of training and TA for community- and faith-based organization recovery support services (including HIV testing and linkages to care) for people struggling with addictions. She conducted site visits and organizational and community assessments; created TA plans; and provided trainings on topics such as board development, serving people in recovery and people living with HIV, and integrating behavioral health and HIV services within health care settings.
At Altarum, Ms. Dempsey led the conceptualization and implementation of multisectoral partnerships as well as communications projects focused on HIV prevention, specifically targeting men who have sex with men (MSM). She was a program manager for a subcontract to American Institutes for Research on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Act Against AIDS Campaign targeting MSM of all races. For this project, she led the development of a strategic plan to create effective prevention messages for MSM of all races. Additionally, she served as project director for CDC’s d-up!: Defend Yourself video product, an instructional training video on how to implement an evidence-based, community-level HIV intervention for Black MSM.
Issues related to prevention, counseling, testing and referral and linkages to care, for vulnerable populations of young people, people of color, MSM, and women have been at the forefront of Ms. Dempsey’s work. She is dedicated to convening and providing expert services and trainings and is skilled at facilitating collaborative, multidisciplinary partnerships. She has been living with HIV since her diagnosis at age 22 and is a person in long-term recovery, having dedicated her career to moving prevention, care, support, and treatment services forward for all vulnerable populations. She is committed to creating systems that help people live healthy, productive, and meaningful lives.