The American Academy ofHIV Medicine, a new group of AIDS clinicians, announced in October thatit has recruited 500 doctors serving about 100,000 HIVers. The groupplans to unify the diverse backgrounds of HIV specialists ranging frominternists to oncologists and to advocate for improved, morecoordinated treatment. "There hasn't been anyone to represent thespecial needs and views of this field," said treasurer Stephen Boswell,MD, executive director of Fenway Community Health in Boston. "Untilnow."
Project Inform won acourt order of protection in November against the HIV denialist groupACT UP/San Francisco for threatening its staff and clients at an Aprilmeeting. In a separate case, a jury also found the group guilty ofcriminal assault for spraying the city's health director with SillyString at a prevention meeting. Project Inform founder Martin Delaneycompared the group's tactics to militant anti-abortion activists whouse threats of physical assault to convey their message. "In my view,this is a form of terrorism," he said. Because the jury deadlocked oracquitted ACT UP/SF members on more serious charges, including battery,the group also claimed a victory.
A public relations firm hired by Schering-Plough to build awarenessof its hepatitis C treatment through the creation of statepatient-advocacy coalitions -- the manufactured grass-roots strategy isknown in the biz as "Astroturf" -- threatened to sue a bona fideadvocate, Brian Klein, for slamming the strategy as "unethical andmisleading." In October, lawyers for the Perry Communications Group inSan Francisco vowed to take "whatever necessary legal action" toprevent Klein, head of the Hepatitis C Action and Advocacy Coalition,from further criticism. Klein responded by publicizing the threat in amass e-mail.
Mario Poulin, a New Hampshire HIVer who was refused a routineurology examination, brought a bias complaint against his doctor inNovember. "I felt like a disease," Poulin said. The incident took placeon April 6 at the office of Gary Dunetz, MD. Although cases challengingthe "direct threat defense" have been won by PWAs nationwide, Poulin'slawyers at the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders said thatunfounded fears about HIV still plague many medical settings.
The National AIDS Memorial Grove, a seven-acre reserve in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, recei
The National AIDSMemorial Grove, a seven-acre reserve in San Francisco's Golden GatePark, received $500,000 funding from the state, presented by Californiaassemblywoman Carole Migden. An endowment pays for maintenance by acity gardener, but much of the leafy glen's upkeep is done on monthlySaturday afternoons, which draw up to 300 volunteers. "Gardening ismeditative," executive director Thom Weyand says. "Working close to theground becomes cathartic. It's about renewal."
Parks Mankahlana, who served as spokesperson both for Nelson Mandela in the first post-apa
Parks Mankahlana,who served as spokesperson both for Nelson Mandela in the firstpost-apartheid elections and for President Thabo Mbeki, died August 24at the age of 36. Although he was credited with expanding press accessafter decades of restrictions, Mankahlana became a lightning rod forcontroversy during last year's debates about AIDS dissenters, when hesaid that the Durban Declaration affirming that HIV causes AIDSbelonged "in the trash." The cause of death still remains unknown,despite calls to the government to confirm or deny rumors of AIDS.
Michael Rosano, a New York city and state political insiderand leading advocate for PWA and gay rights, died October 12 after abrief battle with melanoma. Rosano, 42, was an ACT UP regular for yearsand held many positions with elected officials in New York beforejoining the Empire State Pride Agenda and the Anti-Violence Project aspolitical director. In 1998, he moved to Albany to serve as presssecretary for state Senate Minority Leader Martin Connor. "Despitebeing an insider," says activist and friend Bill Dobbs, "Michael hadguts, and he wasn't afraid to open his mouth."