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Ken Cole Needs a History Lesson

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I remember 25 yrs ago. I t was gay people who were fighting for their lives. i was infected with HIV around 1979 and diagnosed in 1982 by Dr Groopman growing the virus from my blood. I did not kick of the tests till 1990. HIV/AIDS has not been cured. It has become a forgotten disease. The only infectious disease, that kills thousands every yr, but almost never talked about in media. The you take a few pills and are fine is a lie. You take lots of meds and get to live longer. As more and more people are alive with HIV/AIDS, the numbers of deaths will climb. People like me have run out of new meds. The lie that HIV/AIDSA is manageable, is the first time in history that a disease, that is infectious, has been dismissed, by wording. HIV is worse than cancer, their is not cure. Gay men have been lied to. the odds of becoming infected over ones life still are very high, near 100%. eliminating gay, and renaming them MSM. is part of the lie. Gay men are morel likely to get HIV/AIDS, by such a factor, that it is a disease that mainly affects gay men. Lies do not a cure make. We all ignore the truth, but the truth, will not change cause of rewording the epidemic.

January 22, 2014


Excuse me but I have dealt directly with Mr. Cole at AmFAR meetings. It's my opinon he's a great asset to AmFAR.

December 19, 2013

Sean Strub

Howard, thanks for much for filling in some of the details from the Los Angeles end of this story. know the New York side much better, but appreciate learning more, which I'll reflect in future writing on this topic.

December 17, 2013

Sean Strub

Dave, I think you're right, that the average person with HIV isn't aware of and probably doesn't care much about these issues. But that doesn't mean that "inner politics and battles of AIDS, Inc." don't have an impact on either their lives or the course of the epidemic. Distorting the history of the epidemic takes us further from preventing HIV or finding a cure.

December 17, 2013

Sean Strub

Norm, thanks for researching and sharing this background.

December 17, 2013

Norm Edwards

I think the problem might be with Ken's math, not history. It was twenty nine years ago, not twenty five years that Kenneth Cole first spoke out. "Kenneth Cole continued to make a splash. In 1985, for his first major ad campaign, he decided to promote AIDS awareness and research -- the first figure in the fashion industry to do so. Coupling supermodels with children of all ethnicities, his ads read, "For the future of our children," and featured everyone barefoot. Though not a single shoe could be found in the campaign, it was a success." In my memory of events 1985 was early for this sort of action. ( GMHC 1982 Larry Kramer onto ACT UP formed March 1987 AIDS Quilt started also in 87 March on Washington 87. With all the great work he has done and the money raised/donated it would be especially sad to skew these facts.

December 17, 2013


Does the average PWA or PWH really care about the inner politics and battles of AIDS Inc.? The rest of us couldn't care less who runs these groups, who takes credit for what, who pisses of which faction etc. Wear your ribbons, organize your bike marathons, pay yourself $100,000 salaries, spend half your budget berating people for using the terms clean and dirty etc. etc. but just maybe try to spend some time on actual HIV prevention and finding a cure.

December 16, 2013

Mark S. King

Kenneth honey, 25 years ago I (and the largely gay staff and volunteers of the LA Shanti Foundation) had been speaking up and doing the work for years. Big-name straights, by and large, were a little late to the party. Thanks, Sean, for calling him out. When I saw this interview I was so incensed I just about levitated off the bed. Besides saying ignorant things, Cole was also a really awful interview subject. Chelsey must have owed someone a major favor.

December 14, 2013


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