April #100 : Cirque du So Lame - by Josh Sparber

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Getting Out Alive

Last Call

He Said, He Said

Outside In

Myth vs. Reality in the Pen

The Hook-Up

Africa’s Mayor

3 x 5 Report Card

Tribute: Wilfredo Valencia Palacios Roman

Earthwatch: Prison Focus

Website of the month: AIDSVote.org

Medicare Malaise

See You in the Lobby

Show & Tell: Oscar Time



Cirque du So Lame

Can HIV Care Click in the Clink?

A Bitter Pill

Comfort Zone: SpiceBoy

The Sweetest Taboo

Diamond in the Roughage

Head Games

Looking for Liver Helpers

Quick Study: Painkiller


Cheek to Chic

Warning Signs

Quick Study: Sexual Satisfaction

Publisher’s Letter


Live To Tell: With Conviction

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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April 2004

Cirque du So Lame

by Josh Sparber

Global big-topper Cirque du Soleil has been flying without a legal safety net since firing HIV positive acrobat Matthew Cusick in March 2003. Citing “hazardous conditions” for Cusick’s fellow performers, Cirque grounded Cusick days before his debut. The company suggested such daredevil roles for HIVers as “dishwashers...ushers...positions that do not involve a high degree of potential injury with possible bodily fluid exposure.” In January, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sided with Cusick, reaffirming his entitlement to perform under the Americans with Disabilities Act. “I was quite offended to have worked so hard and know I have the ability to perform with Cirque but be told I might be able to collect tickets or wash dishes,” says Cusick, who disclosed his status more than four months before the brouhaha. At press time, the company was swaying toward soon offering Cusick a performance position, adding “medical experts demonstrated [to us] that the risks are so infinitesimal, we shouldn’t worry about HIV anymore.” What’s the French word for “duh”?

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