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20 Years Ago In POZ


September 1, 2005

The Campaign To End AIDS: Charles King Has a Dream

NEW YORK, NY, September 1, 2005—The September issue of POZ, America's leading AIDS magazine, devotes eight pages of coverage to the birth of a new, nationwide, grassroots activist movement called the Campaign to End AIDS, or C2EA. Radical, ambitious and expensive, C2EA kicks off with nine activist caravans that will spend weeks raising AIDS awareness across the country, then converge in Washington, D.C. on October 8 for five days of protests and direct action. Their grandiose hope? To end AIDS, once and for all.

POZ profiles the colorful, controversial longtime activist who dreamed up C2EA, Charles King, president of New York City's legendary AIDS housing organization Housing Works. This gay, Texas-born, ordained Baptist minister is locked in a struggle with other major AIDS groups to pick up C2EA's $1.35 million tab. We need "people who are living with HIV believing we can make it happen. You can't make time for something unless you really believe in it," says King.

Money problems won't dampen the spirits of C2EA's hardcore staff and volunteers. The issue profiles 10 of these cross country-crusaders from all age groups and regional locales. "I want it to be something you can't ignore," says a 24-year-old activist from Montana of the campaign. Says another, "I'll be an activist till I'm no longer physically capable."

Go to www.poz.com and sign up to seek or dispense HIV advice at POZ Mentor. The new, free service has already enticed over 1,000 members looking to chat with fellow HIVers about everything from activism to treatment to sex. The September issue sits HIVer rookie Mario Brito down with veteran Jesus Aguais to discuss his dating troubles. Considering the rejection he's encountered from HIV-negative guys, Britos wonders, "Wouldn't it be easier if I only dated other HIVers?"

The hottest hope for treating HIV is about to appear: entry inhibitors that can be taken by mouth and attack HIV before it even gets into your cells. POZ reviews the one EI already approved and those in the drug-development pipeline.

Keeping in line with his abstinence only AIDS prevention plan, the Bush administration attempted to bully the UN into dropping support of needle exchanges, but reneged when nearly ever other nation balked. POZ asks what will come of needle exchanges internationally if punctured by withheld U.S. funds.

HIVer Raven Lopez first graced POZ's pages at the age of six in 1996. Now, at 15 she's back frankly discussing dating, activism, her penchant for Prada and the future. "I feel like a normal kid; the only thing is that I've got the virus," she says.

POZ can provide hard copies and PDFs of the issue and interviews with writers and editors upon request. For a full update on AIDS headlines and relevant links, check out POZ.com's new weekly News & Views at www.poz.com.

Launched in 1994, POZ is an award-winning national magazine with a monthly readership of 100,000. POZ offers clear, innovative and often surprising reflections of the complexities of life with HIV. POZ is published by Smart + Strong.

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